pompeii worm


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pompeii worm

[päm′pā ‚wərm]
(invertebrate zoology)
Alvinella pompejana. A polychaetous annelid that lives in sea-floor hydrothermal vent chimneys and may experience extreme thermal gradients between its anterior (80°C; 176°F) and posterior (22°C; 72°F) ends.
References in periodicals archive ?
A marine worm called the Pompeii worm burrows into the sides of hydrothermal vents found deep in the Pacific Ocean, quite at home in the nearly boiling water that bubbles from the vents; how it survives is a mystery.
There, along a sea bottom ridge known as the East Pacific Rise, vents spew out 500-degree water that provides a home for the Pompeii worm, the most heat-tolerant animal on the planet.
Henscheid and UO professor Andy Berglund are part of a team studying the Pompeii worm, hoping to figure out how it survives in some of the most extreme conditions the Earth can dish up.
The Pompeii worm is a hairy-looking creature about as long as a hand and draped in fuzzy gray filaments made up of bacteria.
Using the labs aboard Atlantis, Henscheid is analyzing Pompeii worm samples as part of her doctoral research focusing on a specific protein involved in the molecular process - called RNA splicing - that selects and pieces together genetic information carried in DNA.
The Pompeii worm keeps a cool head in that hot clime, however.
Nevertheless, the Pompeii worms weather extreme temperature shifts with impunity, since they often leave their hot tubes to forage outside in the 10 [degrees] C water.
The team is studying the Pompeii worm (Alvinella pompejana), vent crabs, bacteria and other life that inhabit deep sea hydrothermal vents to find out how these organisms can thrive in an environment that can reach temperatures of 750 degrees Fahrenheit.