Are there physiological and biochemical adaptations of metabolism in deep-sea animals?

Trends Ecol Evol. 1995 Jan;10(1):30-6. doi: 10.1016/s0169-5347(00)88957-0.


From the earliest observations of deep-sea animals, it was obvious that they differed in many ways from shallower-living relatives. Over the years, there has been speculation that deep-sea animals have unusually low rates of biological activity; numerous adaptive scenarios explaining this have ben offered. However, these speculations and scenarios have rarely been tested due to the difficulty of data collection and the inevitable confounding of a number of major variables which covary with depth. In recent years, study of the metabolic properties of animals of several phyla from widely differing deep-sea habitats, including the hydrthermal vents, has made it possible, using comparative approaches, to test hypotheses concerning the metabolic adaptations of deep-sea animals.