Hydrothermal vents - black smokers, white smokers and warm water vents - are areas on the sea floor where water heated by volcanic activity under the seabed gushes out. Unusually, the animal communities down here don't use the sun to get their energy. Instead, chemicals in the hot waters form the basis of the food chain. Hydrothermal vent communities do, however, still rely on oxygen produced by photosynthesis in the sunlit zones.
Unique communities of bacteria grazers live on isolated deep water vents.
These first ever HD pictures from 3km below the surface of the ocean were accomplished through a unique collaboration between Japanese broadcasters NHK and marine research institute, JAMSTEC. One of several trips using deep sea ROVs was to the Dragon Vent where the crew agreed that the population of crustaceans resembled bristling Samurai warriors.
Useful behaviours for this habitat
Ecozones where this habitat is found
Other Marine habitats
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