Skip to main content

Gallery: Life of the Costa Rica Margin Hydrothermal Seep

Beauty of a Tube Worm

A single tube worm at a hydrothermal seep area.

(Image credit: Greg Rouse/SIO)

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.

Tube Worm Bush

More than 14,000 tube worms form a spherical bush.

(Image credit: Lisa Levin/NSF/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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.

Meadows of Tube Worms

Tube worms carpeting the ocean floor.

(Image credit: Lisa Levin/NSF/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

At the methane-rich hydrothermal site, tube worms dominate the landscape.

Living Sea Floor

Clams on the seafloor of a hydrothermal vent area.

(Image credit: Lisa Levin/NSF/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Dense beds of crabs crawl with snails and galatheid crabs.

Clam's Life

Clams, brittle stars and snails litter the seafloor.

(Image credit: Lisa Levin/NSF/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Brittle stars, snails and clams as seen from the submersible vehicle Alvin at the vent site.

Sabellid Worm

A bristle-mouthed sabellid worm found at the Costa Rica Margin.

(Image credit: Greg Rouse/SIO)

A sabellid worm found at the hydrothermal seep area.

Archinome

A porcupine-like sea worm.

(Image credit: Greg Rouse/SIO)

Archinome, another wild marine worm found at the Costa Rica margin site.

A Handful of Tube Worms

Alvin grasps a handful of tube worms.

(Image credit: Lisa Levin/NSF/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

The remote arm of the submersible Alvin grasps a sample of tube worms for analysis.

Shy Fish Among Worms

A vent fish among tube worms at a hydrothermal vent

(Image credit: Lisa Levin/NSF/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

A zoarcid fish peeks out from the safety of a tube worm bush.

Giant Tube Worm Cluster

A huge bush of tube worms at a vent and methane seep.

(Image credit: Lisa Levin/NSF/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

An enormous cluster of tube worms at the Costa Rica margin vent/seep area.

Symbiotic Relationship

A hermit crab uses an anemone as a shell.

(Image credit: Greg Rouse/SIO)

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.