Summary

Table 1: A summary of the different feeding adaptations of the four species studied in this blog;
Table 1: A summary of the different feeding strategies and adaptations of the four species studied in this blog; Riftia pachyptila, Lepetodrilus elevatus, Bythograea thermydron, and Thermarces cerberus.

There are many more species than those detailed on these blogs, and they will employ different methods to sustain their energy intake than those detailed in this blog. However, this was a crude attempt to find different feeding strategies within organisms with similar distribution, in vent sites primarily dominated by vestimentiferans – of which sites found along the East Pacific Rise and Galapagos Rift boundaries are demonstrative of this. As shown, there are multiple strategies to surviving in this environment, and many different food webs can be drawn from such. However, this supports the idea that hydrothermal vents are are such diverse habitats as the result of sulphur-oxidising bacteria, whether the bacteria is free-living, epibiotic or symbiotic. This is because both Riftia pachyptila and Lepetodrilus elevates rely on these bacteria as their nutrient source, and in turn they are the energy/nutrient source for predators such as Bythograea thermydron and Thermarces cerberus. Without the bacteria, these environments would not be as diverse or as rich in species.

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