Paralvinella sulfincola

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Paralvinella sulfincola
Palm worms.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Annelida
Class: Polychaeta
Order: Terebellida
Family: Alvinellidae
Genus: Paralvinella
Species: P. sulfincola
Binomial name
Paralvinella sulfincola

Paralvinella sulfincola is a species of polychaete worm of the Alvinellidae family that thrives on undersea hot-water vents. It dwells within tubes in waters surrounding hydrothermal vents, in close proximity to super-heated fluids reaching over 300°C. The upper thermal limit for this polychaete is unknown, however it is unlikely they can survive in constant temperatures over 50°C. It may tentatively be named a metazoan extremophile or, more specifically, a thermophile.

Their unique abilities to withstand high temperatures close to hydrothermal fluids enables them to prey upon sulphur-oxidising bacterial mats which grow close to the metal rich vent plume. P. sulfincola feed using buccal tentacles. Their tubes have two openings and are composed of mucus. These may be found in aggregations or singly upon vents.


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