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Trends Ecol Evol. 1995 Jan;10(1):30-6.

Are there physiological and biochemical adaptations of metabolism in deep-sea animals?

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Division of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, Dept of Biological Sciences, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA.


From the earliest observations of deep-sea animals, it was obvious that they differed in many ways from shallower-living relatives. Over the years, there has been speculation that deep-sea animals have unusually low rates of biological activity; numerous adaptive scenarios explaining this have ben offered. However, these speculations and scenarios have rarely been tested due to the difficulty of data collection and the inevitable confounding of a number of major variables which covary with depth. In recent years, study of the metabolic properties of animals of several phyla from widely differing deep-sea habitats, including the hydrthermal vents, has made it possible, using comparative approaches, to test hypotheses concerning the metabolic adaptations of deep-sea animals.

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