photograph of tubeworm clump
A tubeworm colony with a crab nearby.

close-up view of tubeworms
Close-up view of tubeworms. Click to play a Quicktime movie (you will need the Quicktime Plug-in for your browser).
Tubeworms are one of the most common and distinctive animals found at hydrothermal vents. Tubeworms are attached to the bottom, but have no mouth or gut. Instead, they have symbiotic microbes living inside them. Tubeworms live in colonies consisting of hundreds to many thousands of individuals with many other smaller vent species living among them.
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