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:: Hydrothermal vent animals - A Selection of the Best
Photos of deep-sea hydrothermal vent animals found around black smokers, including the giant tubeworm (Riftia), Pompeii worm (Alvinella), vent crab (Bythograea), squat lobster (Munidopsis), vent octopus (Vulcanoctopus) and more.

The photos below are a select few from our Hydrothermal vent animals gallery - to view the complete collection please visit the Hydrothermal vent Animal Gallery

Alvinella pompejana
Deep-sea Pompeii Worm (Alvinella pompejana)
The large Pompeii worm, Alvinella, tolerates temperatures nearly high enough to boil water. It lives on hydrothermal vent chimneys (black smokers).
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Eelpout fish
Hydrothermal vent eelpout fish (Thermarces cerberus)
Eelpout (Thermarces cerberus) on hydrothermal vent mussels (Bathymodiolus) these deep-sea fish are specialised to live in hydrothermal vent communities, and prey mainly upon vent crustaceans, such a s amphipods and crabs.
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vent crab
Hydrothermal vent crab (Bythograea thermydron)
A juvenile hydrothermal vent crab on the shell of a vent mussel, Bathymodiolus.
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giant tubeworm
Giant tubeworm (Riftia pachyptila)
The beautiful red plume of the giant tubeworm, Riftia pachyptila, found at hydrothermal vents throughout the world. Lacking eyes, mouth and gut, these animals rely on symbiotic bacteria for sustenance.
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squat lobster
Hydrothermal vent squat lobster (Munidopsis)
The deep-sea squat lobster, Munidopsis rests on Bathymodiolus mussels.
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vent barnacle
Hydrothermal vent barnacle (Neolepas)
Stalked barnacles, Neolepas, are among the common organisms found at hydrothermal vents throughout the world.
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vent octopus
Hydrothermal vent octopus (Vulcanoctopus hydrothermalis)
The hydrothermal vent octopus Vulcanoctopus. This remarkable species lives near black smokers, where it preys upon the many small crustaceans that thrive there.
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Giant tubeworm
Giant tubeworm (Tevnia jerichonana)
These 'rusty' vent tubeworms (Tevnia jerichonana) have been stained orange by iron compounds emanating from black smoker chimneys.
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Vent crab
Hydrothermal vent crab (Bythograea thermydron)
A large adult hydrothermal vent crab, Bythograea thermydron, clambers over volcanic basalt.
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Limpets
Hydrothermal vent limpets (Lepetodrilus and Eulepetopsis)
A variety of vent limpets (Lepetodrillus, Eulepetopsis) living on the shell of the vent mussel, Bathymodiolus, which forms an important habitat for these grazing limpets.
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Giant tubeworm
Giant tubeworm (Riftia pachyptila)
Two classic hydrothermal vent organisms together - a giant tubeworm, Riftia, in the foreground, with the vent mussel Bathymodiolus in the background.
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Hydrothermal vent octopus
Hydrothermal vent octopus (Vulcanoctopus hydrothermalis)
Head and shoulders of an alien? No, this is the body of the hydrothermal vent octopus Vulcanoctopus. This remarkable species lives near black smokers, where it preys upon the many small crustaceans that thrive there.
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Hydrothermal vent scaleworm
Hydrothermal vent scaleworm
A hydrothermal vent scale worm found living among giant tubeworms and mussels. A diverse fauna of polynoid worms inhabit hydrothermal vents, some thriving in hot water near the tips of black smokers.
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Vent clam
Hydrothermal vent clam (Calyptogena magnifica)
A giant hydrothermal vent clam, Calyptogena, from 2.5 kilometres on the East Pacific Rise. This clam genus also occurs at methane seeps/cold seeps.
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Pompeii worm
Deep-sea Pompeii Worm (Alvinella pompejana)
Close-up showing the bacteria-coated filaments that cover the body of the hydrothermal vent worm, Alvinella pompejana
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View the complete collection in our Hydrothermal Vent Animal Gallery


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