Resembling giant lipsticks, tubeworms
(Riftia pachyptila) live over a mile deep on the Pacific Ocean floor near hydrothermal vents. They may grow
to about 3 meters (8 ft) long. The worms' white tube home is made of a tough, natural material called chitin
Tubeworms have no mouth, eyes, or stomach ("gut"). Their survival depends on a symbiotic relationship with the
billions of bacteria that live inside of them. These bacteria convert the chemicals that shoot out of the hydrothermal
vents into food for the worm. This chemical- based food-making process is referred to as chemosynthesis.
Since a tubeworm has no mouth, how do bacteria enter the worm? Scientists have found that, during its earliest
stages, the tubeworm does have a mouth and gut for bacteria to enter. But as the worm grows, these features disappear!
the tubeworm depends on the bacteria that live in its body for energy and food, sometimes tubeworms provide food
for other deep-sea dwellers. Fish and crabs may nibble off the tubeworm's red plume.