Tubeworms (Riftia pachyptila)

Tubeworms resemble giant tubes of lipstick. They live neary hydrothermal vents and have a symbiotic relationship with chemosynthetic bacteria. The bacteria enters their body when tubeworms are young and have mouths and guts. As they grow, those features begin to disappear. Millions of bacteria inside a tubeworm convert chemicals from hydrothermal vents into energy. Tubeworms grow and reproduce quickly, due to the limited life-time of a hydrothermal vent. When a hydrothermal vent goes out, then the tubeworm cannot survive without the minerals.


Hydrothermal Vent Crab (Bythograea thermydron)

The Hydrothermal Vent Crab is the top predator at hydrothermal vents. These crabs are usually found among dense clusters of tubeworms. Vent crabs are located around 2.7km under water and face 250 times more pressure than we do. Vent crabs will eat anything at hydrothermal vents. Juveniles can live at atmospheric pressure, but adult crabs will die unless put under great pressure, so they are kept in hydraulic vaults that pump 1,500 pounds per square inch, which isn't quite as much as Vent crabs face, but enough to keep them alive.


Hydrothermal Vent Scaleworm (Polychaeta Polynoidae)

 Found at low tides on rocky shores, The Scale Worm is light fawn or grey in colour. Each scale is marked with a distinctive c-shaped brown pattern. The colour of this worm helps it camaflouge into the rocks from predators. With scales covering the upper surface, the scale worm is a short compact worm with 12 pairs of overlapping scales called elytra.

 

 


Deep Sea Mussels

Deep sea mussels are often the first creatures to colonize a hydrothermal vent.  Like tubeworms, they too have bacteria inside them that converts energy through cehmosynthesis. These mussels clumb togethe and can filter food from the water, alloing them to sruvive a little longer after a hydrothermal vent becomes inactive. They are common prey for many predators.


Pompeii Worm (Alvinella Pompejana)

The pompeii worm is a fuzzy gray animal with scarlet gills on its head. The gray "fur" on pompeii worms are actually bacteria. Pompeii worms are theworld's most heat tolerant animal, living among hydrothermal vents, and can withstand up to 176 degrees Fahrenheit. Pompeii worms makes a sort of papery colony attached to the chimneys of hydrothermal vents. Vent chimneys are very porous, so heat can easily escape from the sides into the papery colonies of pompeii worms. The back part of the worm's body sits in water as high as 176 degrees Fahrenheit while its head, which rests outside the colonies, is in water about 72 degrees Fahrenheit.


 Hydrothermal Vent Shrimp

Found in the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean, these 15 shrimp species are usually gathered in huge swarms along the edges of active black smokers. For each species, they can each contain as many as 30 thousand shrimps. But there is only enough room from the hydrothermal vents to provide space for only one specie of the shrimp. These tiny little ocean creatures feed on the microbes that grow on their bodies and the chimneys of the hydrothermal vents.

 


Zoarcid Fish

Zoarcid fish, or eelput, live among groups of mussels and tubeworms. They are around two feet long and are white. Zoarcid fish are slow and lethargic, yet are major predators, feasting on anything from crabs to tubeworms.


Hydrothermal Vent "Dandelion"

Hydrothermal Vent "Dandelions" are actually colonies of individual animals that come together, like a Portugese Man-of-War. They use their tentacles to anchor themselves to rocks and can move around. "Dandelions" are scavengers and are usually the last animals to arrive at hydrothermal vents. This is because after a hydrothermal vent becomes inactive, then many Dandelions will arrive to feast on the dead and dying organisms.