Deep Sea Food Chains
|What are deep sea
hydrothermal vents? Why are such vents able to support large complex
communities of organisms. Where are they found? Why were scientists
surprised to find such communities?
sea hydrothermal vents are actually geysers that are under water.
These vents are created near mid-ocean ridges or mountain side that are
under the ocean as a result of volcanic activity. These vents are
also able to support life due to the high energy chemical compounds in the water.
Bacteria found in the organisms surrounding
the vent and in the vents themselves use chemosynthesis to make food out
of these compounds. These organisms get food from a chemical reaction
instead of the sun.. Scientists were surprised to find communities in
the deep sea because they thought that you need sun light to survive.
These were the first complex communities of living things ever found that
depend on chemosynthesis instead of photosynthesis..|
|Where was the
first such vent discovered? How was it discovered?
||The first hydrothermal vent
were discovered in 1977 near the Galapagos Islands by a Geologic survey
team from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute while looking for deep sea volcanoes.
Studies on the symbiotic life was
started in 1979. Also the maps shows the Vents around the
|What is the
source of energy used to create food in this environment? How is this
energy used to create food?
springs on the ocean floor contain high energy sulfur compounds.
Chemosynthetic bacteria living in the vents and in the tissues of some of
the organisms living around the vents use this energy to make food
molecules. These chemosynthetic bacteria form the base of a food
|What kinds of
organisms live in these communities?
||The kinds of organisms that live in these communities
range from viperfish and rattails to tubeworms and foot long clams. Some
of thes organisms (like the tube worms) feed directly of the
Chemosynthetic bacteria. while others act as predator. Many of these
organisms have bright red tissues containing Hemoglobin. These organisms
used the hemoglobin to help the get oxygen in this environment.
|References: You should provide references for all of your
answers and images.|
symbioses from deep-sea hydrothermal vents in the Western Pacific
|Studies on the
Physiological Ecology of Hydrothermal Vent Chemoautotrophic Symbioses -
|Deep Water Fish