Yeti Crab Discovered In Antarctica Named Kiwa Tyleri

Posted: Jun 25 2015, 10:29am CDT | by , in Latest Science News


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Yeti Crab Discovered in Antarctica Named Kiwa Tyleri
Courtesy of Thatje et al
  • First Species of Yeti Crab Discovered in the Cold Environment of Antarctic Continent

A Yeti Crab was discovered recently hidden away in hot vents in the extremely cold environment of the Antarctic Continent. It is named after a British deep sea biologist.

This is the first such discovery of a Yeti Crab that lives in the hot springs hidden away in the East Scotia Ridge. The site is located in the Southern Ocean close to the Antarctic Continent.

The study that mentioned this curious creature was published in PloS One journal on June 24th of this year. The special species is a member of the squat lobsters that bear the scientific label Kiwaidae. They normally reside in the hot springs. The crab has pretty much monopolized its environmental niche and there are hundreds of similar crabs in the region it occupies.

The Yeti Crab has a whole lot of tiny thorn-like projections arising from its shell as well as tons of bacteria that inhabit its exterior. These of course lend it the appearance of having bristles on its body.

These are called setae in scientific lingo. The feature is very important to the crab since it is thanks to this accretion of bacterial material that it can live in its habitat with ease and a sense of entitlement. It is wholly in symbiosis with the chemosynthetic bacteria which satisfy its nutritional needs.

The full name of this strange crab species is Kiwa tyleri. For the majority of its life span it is unable to move around much since it is trapped within the chimney-like vents of the hot geothermal springs.

If it were to move about it would be frozen stiff by the very cold waters in between the springs. Only the females move around enough to be able to lay the eggs in the appropriate environment.

Mostly the crustaceans which include crabs and lobsters are scarcely found in the regions surrounding the North and South pole. However, the hot vents in the southern area provide sufficient warmth for this particular sub-species to not only stay alive but thrive.

The crab has been humorously named “The Hoff” after David Hasselhoff of Baywatch fame. Since David had a fuzzy bush of hair on his chest in the television program and the crab too is bristling with scrub and bacteria, so the analogy makes for a humorous linkage between the two. But its real scientific title of Kiwa tyleri comes from the surname of the deep sea biologist Paul Tyler.

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