Diversity of Organisms Published February 2018
www.BioInteractive.org Page 1 of 2
How Giant Tube Worms Survive
at Hydrothermal Vents
Feature Film
Student Handout
NAME_______________________ DATE_________________
This handout supplements the I Contain Multitudes film How Giant Tube Worms Survive at Hydrothermal Vents.
1. Researchers on the first Alvin dive in 1977 were looking for ______________
a. life on the ocean floor.
b. new habitats for humans to colonize.
c. hydrothermal vents.
d. minerals that could be mined.
2. What surprised the researchers on Alvin when they arrived at the hydrothermal vents? _____________
a. hot water temperatures
b. volcanic activity
c. low light levels
d. an abundance of life.
3. Describe the appearance and features of the giant tube worm, Riftia pachyptila.
4. The anatomy of the tube worms surprised Dr. Jones because __________________
a. there were two hearts.
b. the worms had no mouth and gut.
c. their circulatory system had hemoglobin.
d. there was no respiratory system.
5. What is a trophosome?
6. The trophosome of Riftia pachyptila was found to be full of sulfur crystals. Why were there sulfur crystals in
the trophosome? ______________
a. The trophosome filters toxic sulfides from the water and converts it to sulfur crystals, which are less
b. The trophosome absorbs sulfides in order to digest it for energy.
c. Giant tube worms produce and store sulfur crystals because predators don’t like the taste of them.
d. Bacteria in the trophosome use sulfides as an energy source for making organic compounds, and sulfur
is a byproduct of the bacterial metabolism.
How Giant Tube Worms Survive at Hydrothermal Vents
Diversity of Organisms Published February 2018
www.BioInteractive.org Page 2 of 2
Feature Film
Student Handout
7. Compare and contrast the processes of photosynthesis and chemosynthesis in the table below.
Kinds of organisms that can
convert energy using this process
Source of energy
Reactants needed for this process
Chemical products of this process
8. A student read online that chemosynthesis only occurs in hydrothermal vent communities in the deep sea.
Was the source the student read a reliable one? Defend your claim with information from this film.
9. Symbiosis is defined as a close, prolonged association that is of benefit to at least one of the partners. Is
the relationship between Riftia pachyptila and the chemosynthetic bacteria an example of symbiosis?
Defend your claim with evidence.