Friday, 17 December 2010

The Yeti Crab

Image of the yeti crab
Yeti Crab
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Malacostraca
Order: Decapoda
Family: Kiwaidaea
Genus: Kiwa
Species: Kiwa hirsuta
Conservation Status: Not assessed
Common Name(s): Yeti Crab, Yeti lobster, Furry lobster

The yeti lobster is a crustacean that was discovered in 2005, in the South Pacific Ocean. It's a newly discovered species and not much is known about it.

Discovery 
The yeti lobster was discovered in March 2005, by a team of marine biologists. The group that discovered the yeti lobster, was organized by:
  • Robert Vrijenhoek of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in Monterey, California 
  • Michel Segonzac of the Ifremer (Institut fran├žais de recherche pour l'exploitation de la mer)
  • And another scientist from the Census of Marine Life
The discovery was made using the DSV Alvin submarine, operated from RV Atlantis.The yeti lobster was found along the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge, 1,500 km (900 miles) south of Easter Island at a depth of 2,200 m, living on hydrothermal vents.

It was concluded that  the yeti crab belonged to a family  that wasn't described before, thus the Kiwaidae family was formed. The Kiwaidae family is named after Kiwa, the Polynesian goddess of shellfish. Hirsuta means "hairy" in Latin.

The scientists announced their discovery on March 2006. 

Picture of the DSV Alvin submarine
Description 
The yeti lobster has an average length of 15 cm (5.9 inches). It has pincers that are covered with sinuous, hair-like strands (resembling fur). It resides in deep sea hydrothermal vents of the Pacific, which spew out fluids that are toxic and deadly to most animals.

The species has small eyes that lack pigment, and is believed to be blind. Filamentous bacteria are contained in the "hairy" pincers, which are thought to be used by Kiwa hirsuta for detoxifying the poisonous minerals from the water emitted by the hydrothermal vents found in its natural habitat. Others believe that the yeti lobster might feed on those!

The following video is the only one I managed to find featuring the yeti lobster. Unfortunately the quality is very bad.

Yeti Crab Video


Diet
Similarly to other vent decapod crustaceans, Kiwa hirsuta is probably omnivorous. Specimens have been observed in situ to consume tissues of mussels damaged by submersible sampling activities.

References
- E. Macpherson, W. Jones & M. Segonzac (2006). A new squat lobster family of Galatheoidea (Crustacea, Decapoda, Anomura) from the hydrothermal vents of the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge Zoosystema

4 comments:

  1. PLZ TELL ME HOW MUCH A YETI CRAB WEIGHS?!?!

    ReplyDelete
  2. FURRY CRAB!!! ME LIKEY!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. PLZ TELL ME HOW MUCH ITS LIFE SPAN, WHAT IT EATS, REPRODUCTION AND BREEDING.

    ReplyDelete