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Worms that can be boiling/freezing at same time

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Life seems to want to survive somehow, yet we never see anything that isn’t alive coming to life.

 

Further to: Looking for life in all the wrong places, the BBC tells us about the mud volcano worms:

The Beaufort Sea tubeworms are only 7-8cm long. However, they are distantly related to giant tube-dwelling annelid worms that are found near deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Such worms can be 2m long.

Both groups of worms survive without light, under intense pressures and in water that is often laced with acid and toxic gases. They can cope with a wide range of temperatures. Often one end of a tubeworm can experience near-freezing temperatures, while the other end is exposed to hot fluids flowing out of the seafloor.

They have no eyes, no stomach and no anus. Instead, they somehow feed on the gases pumped out of the volcanoes.

The scientists aren’t sure whether it’s the methane gas itself that the worms feed on, or hydrogen sulfide, which is made when the nearby microbes oxidise methane.

Interesting:

Some tubeworms are remarkably long-lived. In 2000, researchers found tubeworms that took 170-250 years to grow 2m long. They lived in cold seeps, another type of chemosynthetic environment, around the Gulf of Mexico. More.

Life seems to want to survive somehow, yet we never see anything that isn’t alive coming to life.

See also: What we know and don’t, about the origin of life

One Reply to “Worms that can be boiling/freezing at same time

  1. 1
    ppolish says:

    The worms have no anus. Neil Tyson would approve.

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