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The Mid-Cayman spreading centre is an ultraslow-spreading ridge in the Caribbean Sea. Its extreme depth and geographic isolation from other mid-ocean ridges offer insights into the effects of pressure on hydrothermal venting, and the biogeography of vent fauna. Here we report the discovery of two hydrothermal vent fields on the Mid-Cayman spreading centre.(More)
Chemosynthetic primary production by microbes supports abundant faunal assemblages at deep-sea hydrothermal vents, with zonation of invertebrate species typically occurring along physico-chemical gradients. Recently discovered vent fields on the East Scotia Ridge (ESR) in the Southern Ocean represent a new province of vent biogeography, but the spatial(More)
Keywords: Osedax Whale bone Lipid Bacterial mat Minke whale Taphonomy a b s t r a c t Large cetacean carcasses at the deep-sea floor, known as 'whale falls', provide a resource for generalist-scavenging species, chemosynthetic fauna related to those from hydrothermal vents and cold seeps, and remarkable bone-specialist species such as Osedax worms. Here we(More)
Few species of reptant decapod crustaceans thrive in the cold-stenothermal waters of the Southern Ocean. However, abundant populations of a new species of anomuran crab, Kiwa tyleri, occur at hydrothermal vent fields on the East Scotia Ridge. As a result of local thermal conditions at the vents, these crabs are not restricted by the physiological limits(More)
The dynamics and microdistribution of faunal assemblages at hydrothermal vents often reflect the fine-scale spatial and temporal heterogeneity of the vent environment. This study examined the reproductive development and population structure of the caridean shrimp Rimicaris hybisae at the Beebe and Von Damm Vent Fields (Mid-Cayman Spreading Centre,(More)
The ‘scaly-foot gastropod’ (Chrysomallon squamiferum Chen et al., 2015) from deep-sea hydrothermal vent ecosystems of the Indian Ocean is an active mobile gastropod occurring in locally high densities, and it is distinctive for the dermal scales covering the exterior surface of its foot. These iron-sulfide coated sclerites, and its nutritional dependence on(More)
Hydrothermal vents on mid-oceanic ridges are patchily distributed and host many taxa endemic to deep-sea chemosynthetic environments, whose dispersal may be constrained by geographical barriers. The aim of this study was to investigate the connectivity of three populations of the ‘scaly-foot gastropod’ (Chrysomallon squamiferum Chen et al., 2015), a species(More)
Wood sinking into the deep sea is often colonized by species of the bivalve subfamily Xylophagaidae; specialist organisms that bore into it and digest cellulose with the aid of symbiotic bacteria. Very little is known about the nature of Xylophagaidae borings, Xylophagaidae abundances and population size structures, their rates of growth and their(More)
We report the first comparative population genetics study for vent fauna in the Southern Ocean using cytochrome C oxidase I and microsatellite markers. Three species are examined: the kiwaid squat lobster, Kiwa tyleri, the peltospirid gastropod, Gigantopelta chessoia, and a lepetodrilid limpet, Lepetodrilus sp., collected from vent fields 440 km apart on(More)
The 28<sup>th</sup> species of the eelpout genus Pachycara Zugmayer, 1911, is described from specimens collected from an active hydrothermal vent field at a depth of about 2300 m at the Mid-Cayman Spreading Centre of the Caribbean Sea. A tentatively identified early juvenile is recorded at a methane seep at a depth of 1049 m near Tobago. The new species is(More)
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