Deep ocean worm,SEM

Deep ocean worm,SEM


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Deep ocean worm, coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) showing close-up of mouthparts. This worm was found on the walls of hydrothermal vent 'black smokers' in the Pacific Ocean. The worm feeds on bacteria that live directly off minerals released by the vents (a process known as chemosynthesis). Hydrothermal vents are found several thousands of metres deep underwater along geologically active zones. The vents release superheated water and dense mineral deposits, forming huge towers that support a wide variety of fauna.

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