Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union

Fast growing tubeworms

Authors

  • Anonymous


Abstract

Since 1977 when deep-sea hydrothermal vent ecosystems were first discovered, scientists have theorized that they may be centers of life with extremely rapid rates of biological processes. But direct evidence of accelerated growth, reproductive, and adaptive processes was scant. Now a team of scientists report in last week's Nature that indeed the fastest-growing marine invertebrates on record live in the warm, nutrient-rich surroundings of 2500-m deep volcanos. In a series of dives over a 3-year period with Alvin to a colony on the East Pacific Rise, a team led by Richard Lutz of Rutgers University found that a species of giant tubeworms, Riftia pachyptila grows at a rate of 85 cm a year and can reach up to 1.5 m in length.

Ancillary