Alien world discovered in Antarctic deep-sea vents

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Alien world discovered in Antarctic deep-sea vents

Post by SamCogar on Wed Jan 04, 2012 7:40 am

Scientists doing their first exploring of deep-sea vents in the Antarctic have uncovered a world unlike anything found around other hydrothermal vents, one populated by new species of anemones, predatory sea stars, and piles of hairy-chested yeti crabs.

It was "almost like a sight from another planet," said expedition leader Alex Rogers, a professor of zoology at Oxford University.

The yeti crabs seem to cultivate "gardens" of bacteria on their chests, which are covered with hairy tendrils. These bacterial mats almost certainly provides the crabs with sustenance, Rogers said. In turn, predatory seven-armed sea stars stalk the periphery of the vents, snacking on unfortunate crabs.

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