Title: Hoff crab (Kiwa tyleri)
The place it lives: East Scotia Ridge, Southern Ocean
What it eats: Micro organism
Why it is superior: It seems that the Yeti does exist — or at the least it does underwater. Named after the abominable snowman, this household of deep-sea squat lobsters was first found in 2005. The primary instance was nicknamed the yeti crab because of the crustacean’s white coloration and hairiness. This identify was prolonged to the remainder of the household as extra species have been found and described. Later, one hairy-chested species (Kiwa tyleri) was nicknamed “The Hoff” after “Baywatch” actor David Hasselhoff.
However these nicknames are the least-fascinating facets of this small crustacean. Okay. tyleri manages to outlive in one of the excessive environments on the planet. In 2010, a remotely operated car dove right down to the hydrothermal vents on the East Scotia Ridge within the Southern Ocean and located these yeti crabs densely packed collectively, with as much as 700 people per sq. meter.
Life in these volcanic hydrothermal vents is precarious. The liquid ejected from the vents can attain a scorching 721.04 levels Fahrenheit (382.8 levels Celsius), but not removed from the vents, the Antarctic waters are freezing. The crabs should survive within the small space between the 2 extremes.
Associated: The superb world of Antarctic yeti crabs
Scientists found that females with well-developed embryos enterprise away from the vents. The scalding waters of the hydrothermal vents is probably not hospitable for embryonic improvement, so the females transfer away and launch their larvae into cooler waters. This journey into the chilly has a visibly damaging impact on the females, which breed solely as soon as earlier than dying.
And what’s there to eat in a hydrothermal vent? Not a lot. However the Hoff crab has discovered a solution to snag grub, and it includes the animal’s hairs, referred to as setae. These setae, which cowl the crab’s complete stomach, harbor micro organism that the crab harvests and eats.
Though they’re known as yeti crabs, these critters aren’t really true crabs. As an alternative, they’re squat lobsters, and like numerous different decapods, resembling king crabs and hermit crabs, they’re crab-like. This unusual course of whereby many alternative animals find yourself wanting like crabs is a sort of convergent evolution referred to as carcinization.