Animals at the hydrothermal vents.
The vent communities are at least 200 million years old; yet the life span of a vent is at most a few decades. Therefore the animals must repeatedly colonize new vents tens and occasionally hundreds of kilometers away. "Under these circumstances, uld expect that there would be strong selection for rapid growth, the ability to produce many offspring, and an efficient means of dispersal," Grassle says.
He reports that the rates of metabolism, growth and fecundity are higher in organisms living at the vents than in other deep-sea organisms. The metabolic rates of the largest vent animals are similar to those of shallow-water relatives, and many times higher than those of deep-sea relatives. "Studies of the vents," Grassle says, "have laid to rest the idea that constraints of pressure and temperature alone limit the activities of deep-sea organisms."
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|Title Annotation:||animal communities at deep-sea hydrothermal vents|
|Date:||Aug 24, 1985|
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