Name some organisms that inhabit hydrothermal vents
The ocean floor is a habitat for many classes of living organisms. These organisms have different modes of feeding. Thus, each species has its distinct adaptation to its immediate environment. The perfect examples are the hydrothermal vent animals that inhabit the vents, including the vent octopus, giant tubeworm, spider crab, vent crab, gastropod, gyre snail, squat lobster, Pompeii worm, Anemone, ciliate, and more (Abellgan, 2010).
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How do animals living near hydrothermal vents get their energy?
Unlike the organisms that live on the earth’s surface and that depend on sunlight as the principal source of energy through photosynthesis, plants around hydrothermal vents do not have such a privilege since the great oceanic depths prevent sunlight from reaching the oceanic floor.
According to the Marine Conservation Society (UK) South East (2008), the water that oozes from the vents has chemosynthetic bacteria, which convert sulfur compounds into organic material. This process is known as chemosynthesis. Therefore, in the vent food chains, the chemosynthetic bacteria are the chief producers making all hydrothermal vent animals depend solely on them for energy.
Should federal dollars contribute to explorations like the Galapagos Rift project where scientists discovered hydrothermal vent communities?
Deep–sea exploration is a quite complex and expensive exercise that requires adequate funding, expertise, and machinery. This can only be made possible when the federal government injects enough resources to the oceanography research bodies. This will not only reduce the difficulties of the deep-sea work but will also ensure that the information obtained is accurate and reliable.
What are some advantages and disadvantages to finding new animal/plant forms?
One advantage of finding new life forms of flora and fauna is that it enhances the efforts made to preserve the life that may be otherwise endangered due to the lack of knowledge about them (Kenn, 2013).
Furthermore, it may contribute to deep-sea diving tourism that can be a source of government revenue. However, marine exploration projects are costly and require extremely sophisticated machinery. This can be detrimental to the economy, especially for a country.
Glacial landscapes are changing
Discuss the negative changes that are occurring and the cause(s) of these changes
In the recent past, the temperature on the earth has been rising steadily due to the effect of global warming. This has caused glacier ice to melt much faster than before making the glacial landscapes recede, thereby exposing the earth below. This has resulted in increased levels of seawater. Also, higher altitudes areas on the globe are characterized by ice glaciers (Grassle, 1985).
Due to continuous melting, the water flowing into the rivers has increased streams massively, resulting in devastating floods. The receding ice glaciers in some parts around the world have led to a reduction in the production of hydroelectric power, thus depicting an imminent crisis in the energy sectors of the affected economies.
Discuss how these changes negatively impact/affect other organisms/animals.
The glacial landscapes harbor many living organisms comprising both plants and animals. Some animals adapt to the very low temperatures for their survival. Therefore, the melting of ice glaciers due to global warming is a threat to the future survival of such animals. The glaciers melt into freshwater, but certain bird species solely depend on the freshwater fish for food. They feed on tiny plants on the sea floor and rock surfaces (Welford, 2011).
The rising temperature of the seawater impacts negatively the survival of bird species since it causes the death of the plants, thus significantly reducing the number of small fish.
The ever-rising sea levels caused by the melting ice glaciers will no longer allow the corals to thrive in their natural habitat. This is due to the deprivation of sunlight that is necessary for photosynthesis (Erik, 2008). Therefore, it follows that the living microorganisms and fish will be on the verge of extinction soon.
Abellgan, E. (2010). Creatures of the deep sea. Retrieved from: http://www.seasky.org/deepsea/hydrothermal-vents.html
Erik, M. (2008). Climate change and glacial melting. StudyMode.com. Retrieved from: http://www.studymode.com/essays/Climate-Change-And-Glacial-Melting 174329.html
Grassle, J. (1985). Hydrothermal vent animals: Distribution and biology. The Journal of Science, 229(7), 713-717. Retrieved from: http://www.sciencemag.org/ content/229/4715/713.short
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Kenn, J.(2013). Marine life. Retrieved from http://marinelife.about.com/od/habitatprofiles/p/vents.html
Marine Conservation Society (UK) South East. (2008). Life on hydrothermal vents. Retrieved from: http://www.marine-conservation.org.uk/thermalventlife.html
Welford, J. (2011). How glaciers change the landscape. Retrieved from: http://www.sciences360.com/index.php/how-glaciers-change-thelandscape 24025/