Sunday, May 1, 2011

Kiwa hirsuta, A.K.A. Yeti Crab!

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Crustacea
Class: Malacostraca
Order: Decapoda
Family: Kiwaidae
Genus: Kiwa
Species: K. hirsuta


The Yeti Crab, Kiwa Hirsuta, was recently discovered in 2005 in the South Pacific Ocean, 900 miles south of Easter Island off the coast of Chile. The genus Kiwa was named after the Kiwa, the goddess of the shellfish in the Polynesian mythology. Their species name, Hirsuta means “hairy” in Latin. They are known for their abundance of silky blonde setae covering their pereiopods, which are their thoracic legs and claws. Thus, the name Yeti Crab.
The first Yeti Crab was discovered by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in California. They used a submarine and found it on the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge, at a depth of 2,200 meters on a hydrothermal vent.


Form and Function:
Yeti Crabs are approximately 15 centimeters long. They have eyes that lack pigment and are thought to be blind, or nearly blind. The setae on their appendages contain filamentous bacteria which they use to detoxify poisonous minerals emitted by the hydrothermal vents. They are thought to be mainly carnivorous, although this has yet to be scientifically proved.

Journal Article Review:
Yeti Crab was recently discovered in the South Pacific ocean by researcher Michel Segonzac. Found roughly 1500 kilometers (900 miles) south of Easter Island off the coast of Chile. IT was discovered by using submersible vehicals about a mile and a half below the surface of the water, near the hydrothermal vents. The Yeti Crab is so unique that they had to create a new family of animal in order to classify it. Even after a year of studying it, there is still much to learn about this unusual organism.


Pastino, Blake. (2006, March 09). Yeti crab discovered in deep pacific. Retrieved from

Kiwa hirsuta. (2011, March). Retrieved from

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