An analysis of the hydrothermal vents in the ocean floor

Hyperthermophile and Thermophile Life has traditionally been seen as driven by energy from the sun, but deep-sea organisms have no access to sunlight, so they must depend on nutrients found in the dusty chemical deposits and hydrothermal fluids in which they live. Previously, benthic oceanographers assumed that vent organisms were dependent on marine snowas deep-sea organisms are.

An analysis of the hydrothermal vents in the ocean floor

Eggs of deep-sea skates have been discovered near the hottest type of hydrothermal vents, where super-heated water emerges out of the sea floor.

Deep-sea fish use hydrothermal vents to incubate eggs

These vents, called black smokers, emit dark, sulphurous plumes. Because deep-sea skates have some of the longest egg incubation times, estimated to last more than four years, the researchers believe the fish are using the hot vents to accelerate embryo development.

This the first time such behavior has been seen in marine animals.

An analysis of the hydrothermal vents in the ocean floor

And we found several layers of them, indicating that whatever was laying these eggs had been coming back to this spot for many years to lay them. As the dive progressed, we saw more and more of these egg cases and realized that this was not the result of a single animal, but rather a behavior shared by many individuals.

DNA analysis revealed that the egg cases belonged to the skate species Bathyraja spinosissima, one of the deepest-living species of skates that is not typically thought to occur near the vents.

Hydrothermal Vent - an overview | ScienceDirect Topics

The researchers believe that the warmer temperatures in the area could reduce the typically years-long incubation time of the eggs. While several species of reptiles and birds lay their eggs in locations that optimize soil temperatures, only two other groups of animals are known to use volcanically heated soils:Where plates are pulled away (diverge) from each other molten magma flows upward between the plates forming mid-ocean ridges, underwater volcanoes, hydrothermal vents, and new ocean floor crust.

The Mid-Atlantic Ridge, is an example of this type of plate boundary. Among the least explored and unique ecosystems, deep-sea hydrothermal fields are regions on the sea floor where hot water emerges after being heated in the ocean crust.

Nov 06,  · Hydrothermal vents act as natural plumbing systems that transport heat and chemicals from the interior of the Earth and that help regulate global ocean chemistry.

Hydrothermal Vents

In the process, they accumulate vast amounts of potentially valuable minerals on the seafloor. The Ecosystems that Thrive in Hydrothermal Vents The Ecosystems that Thrive in Hydrothermal Vents Some 7, feet below the ocean’s surface lies a intriguing and bizarre world unlike any other.

Large black volcanoes tower above the ocean floor spouting out poisonous black gas into freezing. Nov 06,  · Hydrothermal vents act as natural plumbing systems that transport heat and chemicals from the interior of the Earth and that help regulate global ocean chemistry.

An analysis of the hydrothermal vents in the ocean floor

In the process, they accumulate vast amounts of potentially valuable minerals on the seafloor. Hydrothermal vents have been found all over the ocean, including regions of the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Southern and Arctic oceans.

The deepest vent located so far is in the Cayman Trough, which is the deepest point in the Caribbean Sea. The trough is located along the boundary between the North American Plate and the Caribbean Plate.

Deep-Sea Biology