Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Extremophiles, Thermophiles, Acidophiles, & Halophiles

ExtremophilesOrganisms that thrive in what, for most terrestrial life-forms, are intolerably hostile environments.  Example:  WATERBEARS!  They can live almost anywhere and can survive in all sorts of extremely hostile environments, even outer space, (at least for a little while)!

ThermophilesThermophiles are microorganisms that live and grow in extremely hot environments that would kill most other microorganisms.  Example:  Thermus thermophilus, which can survive in the Hot Springs at Yellowstone.

Acidophiles - Organisms that thrive under extremely acidic conditions.  Example: Found in Lechuguilla Cave, Carlsbad, New Mexico, where the pH is 0.0, which one website claims is about as acidic as battery acid!

Halophiles - Organisms that live in environments with very high concentrations of salt.  Example:  

Halobacterium salinarum can exist in the Dead Sea.

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