Mon, 07 Mar 2005
From:

Unusual life forms found at hydrothermal vents in Atlantic

Randolph E. Schmid, Associated Press/Washington D.C.

A strange world of see-through shrimp, crabs and other life forms teems around a newly explored field of thermal vents near the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, scientists report.

Towering white mineral chimneys mark the field, named the Lost City, a sharp contrast to the better-known black smoker vents that have been studied in recent years.

The discovery shows "how little we know about the ocean," lead researcher Deborah S. Kelley of the University of Washington said.

"I have been working on black smokers for about 20 years, and you sort of think you have a good idea what's going on," she said in a telephone interview. "But the ocean is a big place and there are still important opportunities for discovery."

The Lost City was discovered by accident in 2000 as Kelley and others studied undersea areas near the midocean ridge.

They returned to the area in 2003 to analyze what they had found and were startled to learn how different the new vent environment and its residents were from the ones studied before.

Their findings are reported in Friday's issue of the journal Science.

Black smokers are chimney-like structures that form when very hot water -- reaching 700 degrees Fahrenheit (371.11 Celsius) -- breaks through the ocean floor and comes into contact with frigid ocean water. The minerals that crystallize during the process give the chimneys their black color.

At Lost City, on the other hand, the temperature of the escaping fluids is 150 degrees (65.56 Celsius) to 170 degrees (76.67 Celsius). The environment is extremely alkaline, compared to the high acid levels at black smokers.

A variety of unusual creatures have been discovered around black smoker vents, including tubeworms that can grow as long as eight feet.

At first the scientists thought there were few animals in Lost City. Then they vacuumed the surface of the white vents and found large numbers of tiny shrimp and crabs, mostly transparent or translucent and less than a half-inch in size, that had been hiding in nooks and crannies, Kelley said.

The total mass of life around the Lost City vents is less than at the black smokers but there is just as much variety, she added.

Microbes found in the chimneys at Lost City -- named for the research vessel Atlantis -- appear to live off large amounts of methane and hydrogen. There is little or no carbon dioxide, the key energy source for life at black-smoker vents.

There is also little hydrogen sulfide and only very low traces of metals, on which many of the microbes at the black smokers depend.

The report offers the first detailed portrayal of a new type of ecosystem that may be widespread, said Antje Boetius of the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen, Germany.

Boetius, who was not part of the research team, said in a commentary on the paper that the amount of living organisms found inside the chimneys at the city was astonishing.

While the black smokers, first discovered in 1979, form at volcanic areas along the oceanic ridges, the Lost City formation was found about nine miles (5.4 kilometers) to the side of the ridge. The formation is at latitude 30 degrees north, roughly the same as that of Jacksonville, Florida.

Also participating in the study were researchers from Duke University; ETH-Zentrum in Zurich, Switzerland; Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The work was funded by the National Science Foundation, the NASA Astrobiology Institute and the Swiss National Science Foundation.

GetAP 1.00 -- MAR 4, 2005 02:40:58





News Search/Filter
Transaction Rates
18 Jul 18
Buy
Sell
AED1
3,883.40
3,883.40
AFN1
196.20
196.20
ALL1
132.32
132.32
AMD1
29.74
29.74
ANG1
7,734.51
7,734.51
AOA1
56.25
56.25
ARS1
518.39
518.39
AUD1
10,523.80
10,523.80
AWG1
7,972.29
7,972.29
AZN1
8,378.53
8,378.53
BAM1
8,549.53
8,549.53
BBD1
7,132.22
7,132.22
BDT1
168.87
168.87
BGN1
8,498.33
8,498.33
BHD1
37,675.75
37,675.75
BIF1
8.05
8.05
BMD1
14,264.45
14,264.45
BND1
10,471.57
10,471.57
BOB1
2,065.19
2,065.19
BRL1
3,717.11
3,717.11
BSD1
14,264.45
14,264.45
BTC1
106,227,845
106,227,845
BTN1
208.51
208.51
BWP1
1,394.29
1,394.29
BYN1
7,207.04
7,207.04
BZD1
7,099.72
7,099.72
CAD1
10,803.31
10,803.31
CDF1
8.84
8.84
CHF1
14,257.55
14,257.55
CLF1
599,346.91
599,346.91
CLP1
21.81
21.81
CNH1
2,119.70
2,119.70
CNY1
2,126.61
2,126.61
COP1
4.93
4.93
CRC1
25.17
25.17
CUC1
14,264.45
14,264.45
CUP1
559.39
559.39
CVE1
150.35
150.35
CZK1
642.72
642.72
DJF1
80.13
80.13
DKK1
2,230.05
2,230.05
DOP1
287.05
287.05
DZD1
121.09
121.09
EGP1
796.89
796.89
ERN1
950.32
950.32
ETB1
516.40
516.40
EUR1
16,622.72
16,622.72
FJD1
6,768.43
6,768.43
FKP1
18,693.19
18,693.19
GBP1
18,693.19
18,693.19
GEL1
5,824.26
5,824.26
GGP1
18,693.19
18,693.19
GHS1
2,978.76
2,978.76
GIP1
18,693.19
18,693.19
GMD1
298.10
298.10
GNF1
1.58
1.58
GTQ1
1,904.61
1,904.61
GYD1
68.20
68.20
HKD1
1,817.39
1,817.39
HNL1
593.83
593.83
HRK1
2,249.63
2,249.63
HTG1
211.46
211.46
HUF1
51.38
51.38
IDR1
1.00
1.00
ILS1
3,926.12
3,926.12
IMP1
18,693.19
18,693.19
INR1
208.64
208.64
IQD1
11.97
11.97
IRR1
0.32
0.32
ISK1
133.64
133.64
JEP1
18,693.19
18,693.19
JMD1
108.99
108.99
JOD1
20,104.85
20,104.85
JPY1
126.20
126.20
KES1
142.08
142.08
KGS1
209.12
209.12
KHR1
3.51
3.51
KMF1
33.78
33.78
KPW1
15.84
15.84
KRW1
12.66
12.66
KWD1
47,117.22
47,117.22
KYD1
17,125.63
17,125.63
KZT1
41.52
41.52
LAK1
1.69
1.69
LBP1
9.43
9.43
LKR1
89.21
89.21
LRD1
88.24
88.24
LSL1
1,075.05
1,075.05
LYD1
10,387.75
10,387.75
MAD1
1,505.03
1,505.03
MDL1
855.64
855.64
MGA1
4.24
4.24
MKD1
270.04
270.04
MMK1
9.96
9.96
MNT1
5.84
5.84
MOP1
1,765.22
1,765.22
MRO1
40.12
40.12
MRU1
397.78
397.78
MUR1
414.72
414.72
MVR1
925.65
925.65
MWK1
19.63
19.63
MXN1
755.02
755.02
MYR1
3,526.60
3,526.60
MZN1
241.60
241.60
NAD1
1,075.05
1,075.05
NGN1
39.51
39.51
NIO1
449.42
449.42
NOK1
1,748.99
1,748.99
NPR1
130.31
130.31
NZD1
9,658.53
9,658.53
OMR1
37,052.07
37,052.07
PAB1
14,264.45
14,264.45
PEN1
4,363.95
4,363.95
PGK1
4,336.64
4,336.64
PHP1
266.90
266.90
PKR1
111.99
111.99
PLN1
3,869.35
3,869.35
PYG1
2.49
2.49
QAR1
3,917.73
3,917.73
RON1
3,574.16
3,574.16
RSD1
140.92
140.92
RUB1
227.67
227.67
RWF1
16.42
16.42
SAR1
3,803.55
3,803.55
SBD1
1,811.69
1,811.69
SCR1
1,053.50
1,053.50
SDG1
792.73
792.73
SEK1
1,612.99
1,612.99
SGD1
10,444.57
10,444.57
SHP1
18,693.19
18,693.19
SLL1
2.26
2.26
SOS1
24.62
24.62
SRD1
1,912.63
1,912.63
SSP1
109.50
109.50
STD1
0.67
0.67
STN1
678.45
678.45
SVC1
1,631.02
1,631.02
SYP1
27.69
27.69
SZL1
1,074.76
1,074.76
THB1
427.97
427.97
TJS1
1,514.89
1,514.89
TMT1
4,061.64
4,061.64
TND1
5,398.08
5,398.08
TOP1
6,169.91
6,169.91
TRY1
2,969.43
2,969.43
TTD1
2,117.24
2,117.24
TWD1
467.68
467.68
TZS1
6.25
6.25
UAH1
543.82
543.82
UGX1
3.83
3.83
USD1
14,264.45
14,264.45
UYU1
455.77
455.77
UZS1
1.82
1.82
VEF1
0.17
0.17
VND1
0.62
0.62
VUV1
130.54
130.54
WST1
5,509.14
5,509.14
XAF1
25.34
25.34
XAG1
222,189.94
222,189.94
XAU1
17,505,837.44
17,505,837.44
XCD1
5,278.14
5,278.14
XDR1
20,068.39
20,068.39
XOF1
25.34
25.34
XPD1
13,087,137.67
13,087,137.67
XPF1
139.29
139.29
XPT1
11,661,113.08
11,661,113.08
YER1
56.97
56.97
ZAR1
1,073.79
1,073.79
ZMW1
1,423.45
1,423.45
ZWL1
44.25
44.25
Taxation Exchange Rates
31 Aug 16 - 06 Sep 16
USD 1
13,232.00
AUD 1
10,043.30
CAD 1
10,213.70
DKK 1
1,999.40
HKD 1
1,706.22
MYR 1
3,283.28
NZD 1
9,623.63
NOK 1
1,605.23
GBP 1
17,433.70
SGD 1
9,757.68
SEK 1
1,569.45
CHF 1
13,631.10
JPY 100
13,101.00
MMK 1
11.01
INR 1
197.29
KWD 1
43,920.70
PKR 1
126.23
PHP 1
285.00
SAR 1
3,528.53
LKR 1
91.12
THB 1
382.08
BND 1
9,756.53
EUR 1
14,885.50
CNY 1
1,987.61

Okusi Associates: Indonesian Business & Management Services