Life on Earth

Ecology of the Deep Sea Vents

Strangeness of life on earth

Alien life discovered on earth! To see what life could be — to imagine its fullest possibilities — descend to these burning underwater fissures where an entirely unknown world of distinctly different organisms is now being noticed. This scholarly anthology has the latest reports. Anyone who says we know life is wrong. My goodness, how strange life is.

— KK

The Ecology of Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vents
Cindy Lee Van Dover
2000, 424 pages
Princeton University Press

Methane hydrate habitat of the ice worm, Hesiocaeca methanicola, on the Louisiana Slope in the gulf of Mexico.

Time-series images of community development at Biomarker #9 following the April 1991 eruption at 9°50’N on the East Pacific Rise. (top) April 1991: Flocculent, bacterially generated material in the water column within 15 m of biomarker #9 immediately following the eruption (within days to weeks)…(mid) December 1993: The giant vestimentiferan tubeworm (Riftia pachyptila) has colonized the site, growing rapidly and overgrowing the population of Tevnia jerichonana…(Bottom) November 1995: The Riftia pachyptila population is now in excess of 2000 individuals and tubes are stained with rust-colored, ferrous oxide precipitate coincident with increased concentrations of iron in the diffuse, low-temperature vent fluids.


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