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Fauna from Antarctic hydrothermal vents

Last updated over 2 years ago

"Scientists doing their first exploring of deep-sea vents in the Antarctic have uncovered a world unlike anything found around other hydrothermal vents, one populated by new species of anemones, predatory sea stars, and piles of hairy-chested yeti crabs. It was "almost like a sight from another planet," said expedition leader Alex Rogers, a professor of zoology at Oxford University. Even in the eye-popping world of deep-sea vents, the Antarctic discoveries stand out, with the unfamiliar species of crabs found crowded in piles around the warm waters emanating from the seafloor. Many of the animals found at the vents have never been found at hydrothermal vents in other oceans, Rogers said. "To see these animals in such huge densities was just amazing," Rogers told LiveScience. In the dayless world of deep-sea vents, energy comes not from the sun but from the hydrothermal energy generated in the oceanic crust." -Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience (http://www.livescience.com/17715-yeti-crabs-antarctic-vents.html) _______________________________________________________________________________________ This vent system is in the Scotia Sea, between South America and the Antarctic continent. Many of the organisms found in this habitat are likely to be new species, but are expected to belong to Genus groupings we already know. In some cases, their sister species are known from other hydrothermal vent systems far away- like the Yeti crab Kiwa hirsuta, which is found among the vents on the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge, near Easter Island. Other Antarctic vent organisms are from groups that have never been seen at vents before. While we wait for these species to be named, here below are the Genus names within which they are expected to fall. Check out the original article in PLoS Biology: http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pbio.1001234