In November 2007 MARUM scientists were suprised by the extreme amounts of biomass they found at cold seeps off the coast of Pakistan. This proved that cold seeps - just like hot vents - can be hot spots for life, too. more info
With a calibrated funnel the MARUM scientists measure methane rising form the sea floor. The amount of methane gives a clue towards the total amount of energy available for the organsims living around a seep.
Cold seeps are oases that provide nourisment for dense aggregations of animals, for instance vestimentifera.
At cold seeps the activity of microorganisms causes carbonates to form. These are hard substrates that mussels and pogonophores need to anchor themselves.
Off Pakistan some cold seeps lay in anoxic regions. At these spots only microbiotic life was possible, but in what masses: The strands of bacteria looked uncannily like a flokati carpet .
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