Marine Biology

, Volume 98, Issue 2, pp 209–216 | Cite as

Feeding biology of the shrimp Rimicaris exoculata at hydrothermal vents on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge

  • C. L. Van Dover
  • B. Fry
  • J. F. Grassle
  • S. Humphris
  • P. A. Rona


A newly described species of shrimp, Rimicaris exoculata Williams and Rona, 1986, dominates the megafaunal community at two hydrothermal vent sites on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Behavioral observations and gut-content analyses indicate, that these shrimp ingest large amounts of sulfide particles from black smoker chimneys. We found no evidence for chemoautotrophic endosymbionts in R. exoculata, based on analyses of morphology, stable isotopes, lipopolysaccharides, and ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase (RuBPCase) activity. Instead we suggest that the shrimp, are normal heterotrophs, grazing on free-living microorganisms associated with black smoker chimneys. We infer that high bacterial productivity is required to sustain populations of R. exoculata at these vent sites.


Sulfide Stable Isotope Bacterial Productivity Behavioral Observation Hydrothermal Vent 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. L. Van Dover
    • 1
  • B. Fry
    • 2
  • J. F. Grassle
    • 1
  • S. Humphris
    • 1
  • P. A. Rona
    • 3
  1. 1.Woods Hole Oceanographic InstitutionWoods HoleUSA
  2. 2.Marine Biological LaboratoryEcosystems CenterWoods HoleUSA
  3. 3.NOAA/AOMLUS Department of CommerceMiamiUSA

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