A hydrothermal vent is a fissure in a planet's surface from which geothermally-
The areas around these hydrothermal vents teem with a wide variety of extraordinary organisms. The most extraordinary aspect is that these organisms differ from every other animal on earth in that they do not depend on the sun for their energy, directly or indirectly. They live on the energy and compounds coming from the vents, powered by the energy at the Earth's core, or by preying on those animals that do.
YETI CRAB Kiwa hirsuta
This crab was first observed in March 2005 by marine biologists using the research submarine Alvin to explore hydrothermal vents along the Pacific-
Each layer contributes to the effectiveness of the snail's shell in different ways. The middle organic layer appears to absorb the mechanical strain and energy generated by a squeezing attack (as by the claws of a crab), making the shell much tougher. The organic layer also acts to dissipate heat.
The US military is currently funding research on the armor of the snail in hopes of developing insights into new military designs.
HYDROTHERMAL VENT SNAIL Alviniconcha sp.
Suiyo Seamount, Tokyo Hydrothermal Vent. This snail inhabits deep-
HYDROTHERMAL VENT OCTOPUS (Vulcanoctopus hydrothermalis)
Almost completely translucent, this octopus preys on crustaceans and other animals that live near the vents.
HYDROTHERMAL VENT EELPOUT FISH
Little is known about this hydrothermal vent eelpout fish. All science knows about is its diet -
THE POMPEII WORM (alvinella pompejana)
Named after the town destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79AD, this little creature is famous among biologists because it is the most heat-
The worm lives in a tube with its foot in water of temperatures up to 80 degreees Celsius while its head is in much cooler water, around 20 degrees. It feeds the bacteria that protect it by excreting a mucus from glands on its back. It is possible the bacteria also help feed the worm.