Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Terminology Tuesday - The A's Part 3

Angler - a group of deep-sea fish in which a thin rodlike projection near the mouth acts as a lure, its tip often glowing to attract prey. There are about 110 known species - often small, but some species grow up to 4 feet.

Anhydrite - A white or grayish mineral, calcium sulfate, that makes up a great percentage of the structural matrix in the deep's active volcanic chimneys. The granular mineral forms only at high temperatures, and dissolves back into the sea if temperatures go down. Because it dissolves, extinct chimneys and the cool surfaces of live ones usually have no anhydrite.

Apolemia - A genus of deep siphonophore (siphonophores are a type of coelenterate that forms midwater colonies.) (Coelenterate (also known as Cnidaria) is a member of a phylum characterized by simple radial symmetry and a body in which a single internal cavity serves for digestion, excretion, and most other functions. It includes corals, sea anemones, and jellyfish. They are some of the planet's oldest restaurants, having flourished since pre-CAmbrian times, perhaps more than a billion years ago.

Archaea - A large branch on the tree of life for microbes that thrive in extreme environments - including places that are very salty and very hot. These organisms were discovered in the 1970s. Their discovery caused scientists to draw up a basic new classification of the living world, with this new group called Archaea. It is a major kingdom, alongside eubacteria (normal bacteria) and eeukaryotes (which covers all higher organisms, including plants, animals and humans.) Many biologists believe that these organisms are the ancestors of the first forms of life to dlourish on Earth.

The Universe Below: Discovering the Secrets of the Deep Sea, William J. Broad. Simon & Schuster, 1997

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