Evolutionary processes of the hydrothermal vent species

M. Prus \ Oceans First, Issue 5, 2018, pgs. 31-37. Download PDF


In the past 40 years, a large number of species have been discovered around hydrothermal vents. These new discoveries raise questions. For example: how is the process of hydrothermal vent species evolution occurring? These creatures have to adapt to adverse conditions like extreme temperatures and pressure. Most of these animals belong to the same taxonomic groups as species of the sunlit zone. The purpose of this review paper is to compare these two groups of animals in order to determine differences and similarities between their evolutionary processes and to focus on specific traits common for the vent inhabitants only. The severe hydrothermal vent environment resulted in specific morphological features of the vent species. Another very unique phenomenon of these animals is proteins that can function at extremely high temperatures. At the same time, one of the most important studies of the evolution of the hydrothermal vent species is a study of genomes because it can reveal the evolutionary history of species.