The yeti crab (Kiwa hirsuta) is a species of crab discovered in 2005. It is a crustacean that was found in the South Pacific Ocean. This decapod is also called the yeti lobster.
Yeti crabs have very small eyes that have very less pigment. This crustacean is about 15 cm long (5.9 inches). The yeti crab is unique for the quantity of silky, blond setae (which is like fur) on its thoracic legs. They are believed to be blind. The pincers of yeti crabs have hair which contain filamentous bacteria. They use these bacteria to detoxify the poisonous minerals in the water. These crabs eat bacteria, even though they are thought to be carnivores. Yeti crabs are referred to as furry lobsters but are more closely related to hermit crabs.
In 2005, Robert Vrijenhoek of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in Monterey, California organized a group along with Michel Segonzac of Ifremer. Together, this group found the yeti crab, using submarine DVS Alvin. The discovery of the yeti crab was announced on the 7th March of 2006. It was found along the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge which is 1500 kilometers (900 miles) south of the Eater Island, which is near the islands of Polynesia, near New Zealand. It was found at a depth of 7200 feet, living on hydrothermal vents.
The genus name, Kiwa, is named after the goddess of shellfish on Polynesian mythology. Whereas, in Maori, the mythology of New Zealand, Kiwa means the male guardian of the sea. In Latin Hirusta means hairy.
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