Lamellibrachia barhami, a species of tubeworm that lives at both hydrothermal vents and methane seeps. This ‘foundation’ species forms giant bushes and massive meadows at Jaco Scar on the Costa Rica Margin.
Mussels and tube worms cluster together in enormous bushes around the Costa Rica margin 'hydrothermal seep.' Researchers estimate that more than 14,000 tube worms make up this enormous bush.
At the methane-rich hydrothermal site, tube worms dominate the landscape.
Dense beds of crabs crawl with snails and galatheid crabs.
Brittle stars, snails and clams as seen from the submersible vehicle Alvin at the vent site.
A sabellid worm found at the hydrothermal seep area.
Archinome, another wild marine worm found at the Costa Rica margin site.
The remote arm of the submersible Alvin grasps a sample of tube worms for analysis.
A zoarcid fish peeks out from the safety of a tube worm bush.
An enormous cluster of tube worms at the Costa Rica margin vent/seep area.
A hermit crab in a symbiotic relationship with an anemone. The crab uses the anemone as a shell, protecting the bright red crab eggs visible tucked into the anemone.
Another view from the Alvin submersible reveals dense aggregates of clams.
Lepetotrilid limpet (Lepetodrilus sp.) with sulfide-oxidizing bacteria on its back. The spherical budding bacteria appear to be Thiomargarita. The limpets live on mussels near warm venting fluids.
A close-up look at one of the many tube worms that calls the hydrothermal seep area home.
A polynoid worm found at the Jaco Scar hydrothermal seep area.
A terebellid, or bristle worm, from the vent site. Most bristle worms burrow in the ocean floor and consume organic material there.
A Nautiliniellid worm that lives at the methane seep/hydrothermal site in the deep ocean off Costa Rica.
A galatheid crab, a common deep-sea species.