Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Deep Sea Creatures Collected For Studies

Date:
February 4, 2002
Source:
University Of California - Santa Barbara
Summary:
Sea animals that live deep in the ocean near hot water vents, and rarely brought to the surface for study, were recently brought to University of California, Santa Barbara by James Childress, a professor of biology and an authority on deep-sea organisms. Fifteen scarlet-colored tube worms, 12 white crabs, and 30 yellow mussels are now on the campus in tanks that simulate the pressure of the deep ocean. Although tube worms have been collected before, this marks the first time that deep sea crabs and mussels have been brought back alive from the deep.

Santa Barbara, Calif. -- Sea animals that live deep in the ocean near hot water vents, and rarely brought to the surface for study, were recently brought to University of California, Santa Barbara by James Childress, a professor of biology and an authority on deep-sea organisms. Fifteen scarlet-colored tube worms, 12 white crabs, and 30 yellow mussels are now on the campus in tanks that simulate the pressure of the deep ocean. Although tube worms have been collected before, this marks the first time that deep sea crabs and mussels have been brought back alive from the deep.

Related Articles


The animals were taken from an area called the East Pacific Rise, which is 400 miles south of Manzanilla, Mexico. They were living at a depth of a mile and a half below the surface.

At that depth, the ocean is very dark and cold and the worms and mussels survive by chemosynthesis. They convert hydrogen sulfide from the vents as an energy source (instead of light) for the synthesis of proteins and carbohydrates. In the tanks they are being provided with hydrogen sulfide, which is poisonous to most forms of life. The crabs are eating pieces of squid.

The animals, which have been on campus for about six weeks, are being studied to understand their physiology and what conditions they need to stay alive.

Currently they are being kept at seven degrees centigrade. The deep sea where they lived is about two degrees centigrade, or just above freezing. At UC Santa Barbara, they are being kept in special tanks that provide 3,000 pounds of pressure. Scientists can view the animals through small portholes.

To collect the animals, Childress went down to the deep sea vents in a three-person submersible called Alvin. The deep sea vents are like hot springs, and are located in areas where the Earth’s tectonic plates are moving and there is volcanic activity. Rock is fractured and water seeps down, is changed chemically, and then shoots up through vents of various sizes. Using a mechanical arm, the pilot collected the animals and put them in a special plastic box, which kept the water cool, insulating the animals from the very warm temperature at the surface.

"When the animals go to lower pressure, they do better with cooler temperatures," said Childress. "It’s tricky to get them back alive and under pressure."

Soon, the animals will be moved to a UCSB lab in order for scientists to perform additional tests to understand more about their physiology. "Currently the tube worms are growing, the mussels are attaching and moving around and the crabs are walking around and eating," said Childress.

Editor's Note: The original news release can be found here.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of California - Santa Barbara. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of California - Santa Barbara. "Deep Sea Creatures Collected For Studies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 February 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/02/020201074130.htm>.
University Of California - Santa Barbara. (2002, February 4). Deep Sea Creatures Collected For Studies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/02/020201074130.htm
University Of California - Santa Barbara. "Deep Sea Creatures Collected For Studies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/02/020201074130.htm (accessed November 25, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) Take a stab at this -- stunt video shows a lamb chop's journey from an east London restaurant over 30 kilometers into space. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cambodian Capital's Only Working Elephant to Retire in Jungle

Cambodian Capital's Only Working Elephant to Retire in Jungle

AFP (Nov. 25, 2014) Phnom Penh's only working elephant was blessed by a crowd of chanting Buddhist monks Tuesday as she prepared for a life of comfortable jungle retirement after three decades of giving rides to tourists. Duration: 00:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stray Dog Follows Adventure Racing Team for 6-Day Endurance Race

Stray Dog Follows Adventure Racing Team for 6-Day Endurance Race

Buzz60 (Nov. 24, 2014) A Swedish Adventure racing team travels to try and win a world title, but comes home with something way better: a stray dog that joined the team for much of the grueling 430-mile race. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins