Thursday, 5 January 2012

Yeti Crabs & Ghost Octopus! Unique Life Found at 1st Antarctic Deep-Sea Vents

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.

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