Carbon-13 Depletion in a Hydrothermal Vent Mussel: Suggestion of a Chemosynthetic Food Source

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  16 Feb 1979:
Vol. 203, Issue 4381, pp. 648-649
DOI: 10.1126/science.203.4381.648


Tissues of a mytilid mussel from the Clambake I hydrothermal vent in the Galápagos Rift zone are strikingly depleted in carbon-13 relative to the tissues of other marine organisms. The stable carbon isotope composition of this mussel suggests that chemoautotrophic bacteria present in the hydrothermal waters are a major food source for filter-feeding organisms in this abyssal environment.