Rare ‘hydrothermal seep’ found in Costa Rica

March 8, 2012

From the print edition

Researchers for Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, in the United States, discovered a unique habitat in the ocean off Costa Rica where extremely hot hydrothermal vents interact with cold “methane seeps.” The discovery housed a habitat of rare species such as tubeworms, fish, mussels, clam beds and crabs. 

The new findings about the strange habitat will be published in the March 7 issue of the Proceedings of the Royal Society B (Biological Sciences). Researchers found the seep while investigating an area called the Jacó Scar in the Pacific Ocean. The scar consists of an underwater mountain moving under a tectonic plate, and various mysterious creatures live in the region. 

“There are plenty of surprises left in the deep sea,” said Lisa Levin, director of the Scripps Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation. “Not only are there new species but there are almost certainly new communities and ecosystems to be discovered.”

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