to Photosynthesis vs. Chemosynthesis
All living things need energy. People
and other animals get their energy from the food they eat. However, neither
the plants on land nor the microbes that live around hydrothermal vents eat.
Instead, they manufacture their own food.
Plants harness energy from the sun to manufacture sugars. This
process is called photosynthesis. Sunlight, however, does not
reach the hydrothermal vent communities at the bottom of the
ocean. Instead, the microbes get their energy from different
chemicals in hydrothermal fluid. For example, some get their
energy by breaking down hydrogen sulfide.