Friday, 10 June 2011
The energy comes from the oxidization (burning) of chemicals which seep up from the Earth's crust.
The organisms that use chemosynthesis,
all bacteria, manufacture carbohydrates and other organic molecules from the oxidization of sulfates or ammonia. The hydrogen they use comes from hydrogen sulfite, whereas the nitrogen comes from ammonia or nitrates.
The organisms that use chemosynthesis are found around hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor.
They are adapted to circumstances which would have been commonplace billion of years ago, leading some to call them descendants of the earliest life on Earth.