Brisk swimmers

时间:2019-03-07 03:03:00166网络整理admin

By Jon Copley MARINE biologists in Delaware have managed to nurture the offspring of animals from deep-sea vents in the lab, and have found that the larvae swim more vigorously in cold water. They think this may help the creatures find new homes. Charles Epifanio of the University of Delaware in Lewes and his colleagues collected the tiny larvae of the crab Bythograea thermydron from “black smokers” 2500 metres down in the eastern Pacific. Back in the lab, they succeeded in keeping the larvae alive at atmospheric pressure to study their behaviour and development (Marine Ecology Progress Series, vol 185, p 147). “It’s been really exciting to be able to work with living vent animals in the lab,” says Epifanio. Animals living around deep-sea vents face the challenge of getting their offspring from one vent to another, as an individual life-giving vent may only last for a few years (New Scientist, 12 December 1998, p 30). The researchers found that the crab larvae were more active swimmers when kept at lower temperatures, which may help them to disperse between vents. Although ocean currents probably carry crab larvae across large distances between sites, Epifanio believes that on a smaller scale the larvae locate vents by swimming. On reaching the warm waters around a vent,