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Re: Sinosauropteryx filament melanosomes challenged

According to some calculations, well before the sun expands the heat generated by radioactive minerals inside the earth will fall to a level low enough that plate tectonics will cease. If such is the case, hydrothermal vents and similar features will also stop.

Have a nice day!


On 12/7/2010 10:24 PM, Tim Williams wrote:
Sim Koning<simkoning@msn.com>  wrote:

The only form of life that could possibly have a chance of surviving the death 
of our sun in 5 billion years would be a technologically
advanced civilization.

Actually, there are ecosystems on the sea floor that exist entirely
independently of the Sun.  Heat (geothermal) and nutrients (such as
sulfur compounds and methane) are provided by hydrothermal vents, and
chemosynthetic (rather than photosynthetic) microbes provide the base
of the food chain.  These ecosystems include not just chemosynthetic
microbes, but a diverse array of invertebrates (clams, shrimp, and
various types of worms).  If the Sun died out, these organisms would
presumably go on living.

It's even possible that life at the hydrothermal systems on the
Earth's surface would outlive the death of the Sun - including those
at Yellowstone.  The humans and buffaloes would kick the bucket, but
hydrothermal microbes might very well be untouched.