How animals in the hydrothermal vent can live with the high temperature.

Greg Muncill gmuncill at mindspring.com
Wed Mar 13 12:50:18 EST 2002


Further discussion of life around these vents can be
found at:

http://seawifs.gsfc.nasa.gov/OCEAN_PLANET/HTML/ps_vents.html

The discussion of what attracts the animals is given by
a quote from the site:

"Water pouring out of vents can reach temperatures up to 
about 400 C; the high pressure keeps the water from boiling. 
However, the intense heat is limited to a small area. Within 
less than an inch of the vent opening, the water temperature 
drops to 2 C, the ambient temperature of deep seawater. 
Most of the creatures that congregate around vents live at
temperatures just above freezing. Thus chemicals are the 
key to vent life, not heat. "





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