Deep-sea dynamos

2019-03-07 05:12:01

By Mark Schrope THEY may look like giant lipsticks, but tubeworms in hydrothermal vents in the Pacific Ocean know how to live it up. They can turn energy into food as fast as any creature on the planet, say researchers. Riftia pachyptila has no mouth or gut, and instead of eating it relies on “chemoautotrophic” bacteria. Sunlight doesn’t reach the vents, so these bugs use energy from chemicals rather than the Sun to turn inorganic carbon into organic matter that the tubeworms can absorb as food. This partnership lets the worms grow as tall as 2 metres,