One of the coldest places on Earth hosts a fascinating creature that has recently received a dignified name. The Kiwa Tylery, or the yeti crab, is the third known species of yeti crab and it came to the surface in a hydrothermal vent in the South Pacific Ocean in 2005.
The Antarctic Yeti crab was analyzed by researchers who gazed in awe at its particular characteristics. The creature lives in large communities around hot spots on the sea floor and holds a very special trait: its millions of hairs host bacteria that the animal harvests to feed itself, as reported by the Plos One Journal.
Our newly baptized crab is blind, has a rigid shell and is covered in microscopic hairs designed to brush up and harbor bacteria on a large scale. It was initially offered a hilarious nickname, “The Hoff” that is, referring to the bare-chested US actor David Hasselhoff. After scientists managed to extract and put together information about its particularities, they put an end to their research by naming it differently.
Kiwa Tylery lives in waters that are normally about zero degrees Celsius and to manage its survival, the crab must crowd around hydrothermal vents, namely volcanic rock systems that extract water through cracks in the seafloor, over heating it and loading it with dissolved metals and other chemical substances. After the water is heated and enriched with nutrients, it is ejected back into the ocean. Specialized bacteria can exploit this hot fluid in order to build an entire ecosystem and thrive with survival.
The scientific community is deeply interested in this animal as its existence raises theories about how life survives, flourishes and expands through deep sea environments. The habitat of the snow-white crab can be defined as an underwater oasis, surrounded by a very hostile environment.
All of the crab’s distinctive features are a living proof of the perfect design for life, as the creature is ideally adapted to its habitat. Its pure white coloring and its hairy body are mandatory features for survival in such an unfriendly environment.
Female yeti crabs leave their homes to brood their eggs that need cooler water to develop. The eggs couldn’t survive if they were left to hatch very close to the hydrothermal vents that are rich in sulfur emissions. Once they are done brooding, female crabs usually die.
Kiwa Tylery holds a double record: it is the first species found in the Southern Ocean, largely uninhabitable for such crustaceans. Secondly, the Antarctic yeti crab gets formal scientific name, being one of the most fascinating species of animals in the world, able to survive in extremely unfriendly environments.
Image Source: abc.net.au