Extremophiles are living organisms that can thrive in environmental conditions that are inhospitable to most lifeforms. These species may be animals, plants or bacteria; the unusual conditions in which they may persist can involve extreme salinity, acidity, temperature, radiation or pressure. Such occurrences may take place in such unusual climate regimes as Antarctica, or in such unusual geographic features as hypersaline lakes.
They may also be found at extreme ocean depths where high pressures and unusual chemical environments, such as near hydrothermal ocean vents, are encountered. The image to the right shows tubeworms found near such hydrothermal vents.
East African montane moorlandsLast Updated on 2013-03-02 at 15:38
The East African montane moorlands is a relatively small alpine ecoregion in eastern Africa. The habitat is virtually treeless since it occupies a zone above the treeline.... More »
ExtremophileLast Updated on 2012-12-23 at 20:24
An extremophile is an organism adapted to unusual limits of one or more abiotic factors in the environment. Some of the extreme conditions are temperature, pH, high salinity,... More »
Atacama DesertLast Updated on 2012-12-21 at 13:35
The Atacama Desert is an elongated strip of desert along the northwest coast of Chile, essentially bounded by the Pacific Ocean on the west. It extends nearly 1600... More »
BenthosLast Updated on 2012-11-24 at 01:47
Benthos is one of three major ecological groups into which marine organisms are divided, the other two being the nekton and the plankton. The benthos are organisms and... More »
Microbial life in undersea volcanoesLast Updated on 2012-08-07 at 14:07
Many of the lifeforms inhabiting the Earth live in sediments and rocks. The research reported here provides the first detailed data on methane-exhaling microbes that live deep... More »
Burnt CapeLast Updated on 2012-07-29 at 03:11
The Burnt Cape is a limestone barren headland on the extreme northwest of the Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland, Canada. The prevailing harsh cold climate and [calcareous]... More »