Did complex animals evolve at deep sea volcanic vents?

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We see complex animals such as crabs living near deep sea volcanic vents.
(Reference: https://ocean.si.edu/ocean-life/invertebrates/hydrothermal-vent-creatures)
This is causing speculation that similar life may be living near deep sea volcanic vents on other world such as Europa.
Did these animals actually evolve at the vents or did they evolve elsewhere, in regions where energy from sunlight was available, and arrive at the deep sea volcanic vents by accident?
If the latter, then there might not be anything more complex than bacteria living at Europa.
 

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  • #2
Drakkith
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Did these animals actually evolve at the vents or did they evolve elsewhere, in regions where energy from sunlight was available, and arrive at the deep sea volcanic vents by accident?
My thoughts are that they likely evolved in both places simultaneously. By the time that complex animal life evolved, basically the entire sea was occupied. These already existing species would interact with each other as they all evolved and populations would likely move around over time as they evolve and as the environment changes. So it's unlikely that complex life evolved in one place or the other only and only then, after spending fifty to a hundred million years or more evolving in complexity, moved into or away from the deep sea vents.
 
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BillTre
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There are two kinds of deep sea vents:
  • Vents driven by geothermal heat from hot rock (volcanic) material: hot, "black smokers", water has lots of dissolved metals, rapid water flow, exit through pipe-like structures, redox difference?
  • Vents driven by serpentinization process: gentle warmth, water has lots CO2 and H+, white smokers, slow water flow, exit through small channels and intersticies, redox potential difference between outflow and sea water
Both have been hypothesized as possible sites where life may have originated.

More complex organisms (I would guess) undertook much of their evolution elsewhere, but then evolved to deal with the particular environment of the vent in the vent environment.
 

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