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Illustration of deep sea life at hydrothermal vent

Illustration of deep sea life at hydrothermal vent

E310/0007

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Credit

FRANCIS LEROY, BIOCOSMOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY FRANCIS LEROY, BIOCOSMOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Deep sea vents. Illustration of marine life around hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor. Three active "smoker" vents are seen, emitting dark clouds of sulphurous hot water. This heated water is produced by geothermal energy in the earth's crust, and reaches the surface containing mineral elements: in this case mainly sulphur. Deep sea (benthic) marine life utilize these "hot spots" if they are able to adapt to the sulphur concentrations in the water. Here, deep sea crustaceans (crabs) are found with white colonial tube worms, and clusters of bivalve molluscs (grey shells).

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