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First access to live Alvinellas
Shillito, B.; Le Bris, N.; Gaill, F.; Rees, J.F.; Zal, F. (2004). First access to live Alvinellas. High Pressure Research 24(1): 169-172.
In: High Pressure Research. TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD: Abingdon. ISSN 0895-7959, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

    Alvinella Desbruyères & Laubier, 1980 [WoRMS]; Marine
Author keywords
    Alvinella; survival; IPOCAMP; deep sea; biology

Authors  Top 
  • Shillito, B.
  • Le Bris, N.
  • Gaill, F.
  • Rees, J.F., more
  • Zal, F.

    The deep-sea vent worm Alvinella pompejana is a biological enigma, regarding the adaptative features that allow it to prosper in the harsh environment of hydrothermal chimney walls (East Pacific Rise). Moreover, attempts to maintain this invertebrate alive following recovery (2600 m depth) have so far failed, thus forbidding in vivo laboratory studies. For the first time, it is shown that most of the specimens reach the surface alive, as witnessed by video monitoring of these animals after native pressure conditions have been restored. Furthermore, some individuals may show active behaviour at least 20 h after recovery, under controlled temperature and oxygen level conditions. These promising results open up a new field of investigation, and call for a major breakthrough towards our understanding of A. pompejana's biology, in the near future.

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