Monday, July 7, 2008

Deep Sea Hydrothermal Vents, and David Attenborough

The Wife, T. and I were watching the The Blue Planet series tonight, and caught the deep sea vent episode. Not only is it good eye candy (the whole damn series is) but the whole idea of an ecosystem that exists due to chemicals from the vents, not sunlight, is just a trip. It is a big deal. This type of system is hypothesized to be similar to the conditions under which life began on this planet.

There are these huge tube worms that live round the vents, white crabs, and even some species of fish. All of them dependent on a few specific families of bacteria which convert the chemicals produced by the "black smokers" into foodstuffs they can use (like we do with sunlight/plants/glucose).

I'll let David tell you a bit about it:

Enjoy the eye-candy of bizarro ecologies on our very own host planet,


No comments: