Life in Extreme Places

Cynthia Berger, Joel Block, Earth & Sky Radio Series

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This radio show describes the extreme environment of the Rio Tinto, featuring an interview with scientist Linda Amaral Zettler. The interview highlights the surprising discovery that the Rio Tinto is NOT dead, as was once believed. A unique ecosystem has evolved there, made up of single celled organisms that thrive on a diet of acid (acidophiles) and heavy metals. The web site includes a transcript for the show, an audio clip of the interview, and a link to more information about the extreme life of the Rio Tinto. RealPlayer software is needed to play the audio clip and can be downloaded for free at The clip lasts 1 minute, 33 seconds.

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Subject: Biology:Ecology:Principles, Metabolism, Symbiotic Relations:Mutualism, Biology:Diversity, Microbiology
Resource Type: Scientific Resources:Overview/Reference Work, Audio/Visual:Audio
Grade Level: High School (9-12), Middle (6-8), Intermediate (3-5)
Extreme Environments: Acidic, Altered by Humans
Topics: Biosphere:Ecology:Metabolism, Abiotic Relations, Habitats:Freshwater, Biosphere:Microbiology, Ecology:Principles, Biosphere:Diversity