Gallery: Life of the Costa Rica Margin Hydrothermal Seep

Clam I Am

Dense clams on the seafloor of a hydrothermal vent area.

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

Another view from the Alvin submersible reveals dense aggregates of clams.

Vent Limpet

A limpet with bacteria on its back.

(Image credit: Greg Rouse/SIO)

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.

Tube Worm

A close-up of a tube worm.

(Image credit: Greg Rouse/SIO)

A close-up look at one of the many tube worms that calls the hydrothermal seep area home.

Polynoid Worm

A worm-like polynoid creature.

(Image credit: Greg Rouse/SIO)

A polynoid worm found at the Jaco Scar hydrothermal seep area.

Bristle Worm

A bristle worm with many tendrils.

(Image credit: Greg Rouse/SIO)

A terebellid, or bristle worm, from the vent site. Most bristle worms burrow in the ocean floor and consume organic material there.

Nautiliniellid Worm

A long red nautiliniellid worm.

(Image credit: Greg Rouse/SIO)

A Nautiliniellid worm that lives at the methane seep/hydrothermal site in the deep ocean off Costa Rica.

Galatheid Crab

A galatheid crab at a hydrothermal vent.

(Image credit: Greg Rouse/SIO)

A galatheid crab, a common deep-sea species.

Stephanie Pappas
Live Science Contributor

Stephanie Pappas is a contributing writer for Live Science, covering topics ranging from geoscience to archaeology to the human brain and behavior. She was previously a senior writer for Live Science but is now a freelancer based in Denver, Colorado, and regularly contributes to Scientific American and The Monitor, the monthly magazine of the American Psychological Association. Stephanie received a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of South Carolina and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz.