The "traditional" mussel subfamily Bathymodiolinae includes numerous large (and large-gilled) deep sea species associated with hydrothermal vents and cold seeps, nearly all of them currently placed in the genus Bathymodiolus. These species are closely allied to the subfamily Modiolinae, which includes mussels that are often associated with sunken wood and vertebrate bones, e.g., small mussels in the genera Idas, Adipicola, and Benthomodiolus (decomposition of wood and bones produces sulfide that is used by these mussels with the help of bacterial symbionts similar to those of found in deep sea vent and seep mussels). Recent molecular genetic and other work has indicated that the Bathymodiolinae is polyphyletic and that Bathymodiolus and some other deep sea mussel genera are also not monophyletic as currently delineated. Resolving these phylogenetic relationships is essential to understanding the evolution of the deep sea mussel fauna (see, e.g., Craddock et al. 1995; Distel et al. 2000; Jones et al. 2005). (Duperron et al. 2009; Lorion et al. 2010 and references therein)
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