Found new species of marine animals in hydrothermal sources

Having investigated zones of high hydrothermal activity, researchers found the whole 6 new types of the sea beings inhabiting this biome. Unfortunately, because of activity of industrialists this unique fauna is threatened by larger danger.

Sea biologists found six new animal species in underwater hot springs at a depth about 3 km in southwest areas of the Indian Ocean. It is remarkable that originally this area was chosen as the venue of underwater works.

Researchers from University of Southampton and the Museum of natural history in London and Newcastle found out, that unusual sea creations hide near hydrothermal muzzles in the place under the name Longqi (that means “respiration of a dragon”) located approximately in 2000 kilometers to the southeast from Madagascar at a depth of 2800 meters. This research, and also the complete description of six new types, was published in the magazine Scientific Reports.

Polynoid scale worm (Polychaete)


The Mnogoshchetinkovy worms found near sources
Usually they live in the Pacific waters so scientists did not expect in any way to meet them in the Indian Ocean

By means of the distant device for deep-water immersions (ROV), scientific it was succeeded to explore the underwater area of the size of the football field. They found ten the mineral “spikes” known as “air channels”. Some of them rise over a seabed on height of almost two-storeyed house, and therefore attract the deep-water animals eating the hot solution which is coming out their hydrothermal sources. In addition to it, spikes are rich with copper and gold, and therefore are of interest to those industrialists who are engaged in mining in the sea.

Polychaete from Dragon vent field


Nereids (Latin Nereididae)

One more representatives of family the mnogoshchetinkovykh of the worms living near hot springs of Antarctic

Doctor Copley is sure that they found a new look which lives also in other regions of the Indian Ocean. Scientists believe that animals migrated in Longqi from other places, but do not know yet where they are. Researchers want quickly to manage to investigate unique fauna before the industrial companies carry out assessment and will begin drilling of hydrothermal educations, than will do irreparable harm to local inhabitants.

stalked barnacles from vent chimneys in Dragon Vent field.


Sea ducks (Latin Lepadomorpha)
Usonogy Crustacea, the close relatives of sea acorns

Besides new types, researchers also found group of the marine animals belonging to family the mnogoshchetinkovykh of worms: it is scaleworm living in Antarctic, and ragworm (known also as “nereid”), living in east part of the Pacific Ocean. All this says that the animals living near sources and breaks are much more widespread in the ocean, than was considered earlier. Unfortunately, increase in number of the production works in areas in which high degree of hydrothermal activity is observed is expected in the near future. What will become with natural biomes after they are dug up to the basis — it is necessary only to guess.