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An extremophile is any microbe that thrives in extreme conditions of temperature, pressure, salinity, or concentrations of hostile chemicals. Many extremophiles belong to the kingdom Archaea, also known as Archaebacteria, and most known Archaebacteria are extremophiles. There are also extremophiles to be found outside the kingdom Archaea; for example there are bacteria and eukaryotic prokaryotes that are extremophiles, as well as species of worm, crustacean, and krill.
Following are different types of extremophiles. Some extremophiles may fit into more than one category:
The Pompeii worm, an extremophile, lives on the floor of the ocean clustered next to hydrothermal vents. Living at temperatures up to 176°F (80°C), these animals are the most heat-tolerant known to science, and they aren't even unicellular. Because they live in such isolated areas, many extremophiles weren't discovered until the 1970s.
Perhaps the most memorable example of an extremophile is a bacteria, Streptococcus mitis, that was found embedded in the camera of the lunar probe Surveyor 3 by Apollo 12 astronauts. This bacteria had survived on the surface of the moon for three years. Scientists sometimes study extremophiles as potential models of what life might look like or how it would operate on other worlds.
how many archeabacteria are there?
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