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National Park - Living Color
of sign - Mammoth Hot Springs area trail at Yellowstone National
taken June 2008
view of sign
view of sign
in this hot spring is a living palette of color. Billions of
heat-loving microorganisms called "thermophiles" carpet
you look at the spring patchwork of colors, you are looking at a
world of thermophiles. Many species flourish here, each in a
niche created by subtle differences in the spring.
vary - spots too hot or tool cool for some are perfect for other
the most potent at the vent, are nutritious for some, but deadly for
water or calm pools create different living conditions.
The formation's miniature hills and valleys capture light and cast
shadows - habitats for sun or shade-loving thermophiles.
is just one of many thermophiles living at Mammoth Hot
Springs. When seen through a microscope, its spiral shape
are looking at billions of microorganisms living and prospering amid
gases and heat - conditions that are lethal to humans.
scientists study these remarkable thermophiles and their hot springs
habitats to determine whether other worlds might support
They are learning about the kinds of evidence to search for in their
quest to find life beyond Earth.
exhibit made possible by a generous grant to the Yellowstone Park Foundation
from NASA Astrobiology Institute and
Martin Space Operations.
on the sign
to the text there is a picture of the Mammoth Hot Springs and a photo of
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