Tubeworms: this is no run-of-the-mill tubeworm. This tubeworm is famous.
Article Type:
Brief article
Hydrothermal vents (Environmental aspects)
Tube worms (Environmental aspects)
Ocean bottom (Environmental aspects)
Pub Date:
Name: Oceanus Publisher: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Earth sciences; Environmental issues Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2011 Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution ISSN: 0029-8182
Date: Winter, 2011 Source Volume: 49 Source Issue: 1
Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States

Accession Number:
Full Text:
Tubeworms, and the seafloor hydrothermal vents where many of them live, were first discovered in 1977 by scientists diving in the Pacific Ocean in the submersible Alvin. Encased in long, hard, white tubes, vent tubeworms absorb chemical-rich fluids emanating from the vents. Inside their bodies, the worms harbor endosymbiotic microbes; in exchange for a safe place to live, the microbes use the vent chemicals to produce organic carbon that feeds the tubeworms. Since 1977, scientists have found many other vent sites in oceans around the world, surrounded by tubeworms, shrimp, clams, mussels, and other deep-sea life sustained in the absence of light and photosynthesis by vent fluids. But curiously, they had never found a tubeworm at a hydrothermal vent in the Atlantic Ocean. Until this guy, which was discovered during a 2011 expedition to the Mid-Cayman Spreading Center. See story on Page 26.

Gale Copyright:
Copyright 2011 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.