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Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Deep Sea Vents Package

Written Piece

Newly discovered shrimp species
Southampton Scientists have discovered swarms of mysterious chemical feeding eyeless shrimps in the depths of the ocean, writes Daniel Mackrell.
The discovery was made about three miles beneath the ocean surface, on 'black smoker' vents in the deepest part of the Caribbean.

Scientists used an underwater robot called Autosub6000 to locate the deep sea vents, south of the Cayman Islands.

Dr Douglas Connelly, one of the team at the National Oceanography Centre, described the experience as 'absolutely brilliant, it does represent the culmination of a lot of hard work'.
The undersea environment is able to support life despite no sunlight reaching these depths. The shrimps do not gather energy from sunlight, but by breaking down chemicals in their surroundings.

They have been named Rimicaris hybisae, and are closely related to the mid-atlantic species.

Dead tube worms, which are normally located in the pacific, were also found near the vents. Mining companies are hoping to start working in the vents, which are believed to be rich in iron and copper.

The next two research projects will be taking place in the Scottish Sea Loch to do a trial CO2 release.

Their will also be an expedition in the North Sea as part of a project called Eco2, which focuses on renewable energy in the UK and Europe.

Image: Courtesy with National Oceanography Centre and University of Southampton.

Link to written piece here.


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