Saturday, April 30, 2005

Way Cool Worm

Cooler. Pompeii worms tolerate scalding temperatures but temper the environment for other creatures.
CREDIT: Ifremer/PHARE/O. Dugornay

"Discovered in the early 1980s, the Pompeii worm (Alvinella pompejana) is the most heat-tolerant animal known. It can survive at temperatures as high as 80°C, according to some scientists. The worm makes its home in thin-walled tubes anchored in the sides of hydrothermal smokers that spew acidic seawater heated to 300°C or more by magma. The smokers are coated in a 10-centimeter thick layer of gel teaming with bacteria."
--- Vent Worms Make Good Neighbors in Science Magazine

Pompeii Worm Page
at the University of Delaware.