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Monday, December 11, 2006

Discovered: the self-boiling shrimp and 500 other extreme sea creatures

The Times December 11, 2006


Discovered: the self-boiling shrimp and 500 other extreme sea creatures
By
Lewis Smith, Environment Reporter

Marine life defies hostile conditions
Surprise survivor from Jurassic era



Creatures thriving at the hot and cold extremes of the marine environment have amazed scientists who are celebrating the discovery of 500 previously unknown species in the oceans in the past year.

They have been found beneath ice shelves, in the darkest, deepest abysses and in scalding water around hydrothermal vents on the sea bed. In a year of discovery, animals living in and around the oceans have smashed records for distance, numbers and sheer tenacity in the most inhospitable habitats imaginable.

Among the most astonishing discoveries is a shrimp living within inches of the hottest water yet found at the bottom of the oceans. The animals live on a thermal vent at the equatorial floor of the Atlantic Ocean that spews out water and a soup of heavy metals heated to 407C (765F) — more than hot enough to melt lead.


Full story and Link:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2497678,00.html