How animals in the hydrothermal vent can live with the high temperature.

Lesley Robertson l.a.robertson at tnw.tudelft.nl
Thu Mar 28 10:39:20 EST 2002

<Bill_A_Nussbaumer at bd.com> wrote in message
news:OF089F90C1.7964D131-ON85256B8A.004D739B at bd.com...
> Another point is that organisms don't live at 400C.  They live in the area
> surrounding thermal vents where the temperature quickly drops off.  The
> current known record holder is Pyrolobus fumarii which is capable of
> at a maximum temperature of 113C.  Organisms are also living in other high
> temperature environments under little to no additional pressure in such
> places as the hot springs and geysers of Yellowstone National Park in
> Wyoming, USA..  I'm not positive of the temperatures in these environments
> but I think scientists have located organisms growing at least as high as
> 80C.
Pyrococcus furiosus and P. woesei both have growth optima at around 100C,
and maxima at 103-105C.  Members of the Thermoproteales have growth optima
between 85-105C.  Note that these measurements are all done in the lab -
thus at 1 atmosphere (especially here, where we are right at sea level).
Your point is a good one - there is an extreme temperature gradient around
the black smokers - even on the outside of the chimney (as opposed to in the
centre of the water stream) the temperature is far from 400C.
Lesley Robertson

More information about the Microbio mailing list

Send comments to us at biosci-help [At] net.bio.net