Yeti crabs were the first identified species discovered in hydrothermal vents near Easter Island in 2005. The yeti crabs have many adaptations to survive in the harsh environment of the cold and deep seafloor. Because deep-sea submarines can only identify them, there is still a limited amount of information available about them.
Yeti crab’s scientific name and classification:
The name “Kiwa” stands for yeti crabs. The yeti crabs are not included in the list of true crabs but have a close relation with squat lobsters. Moreover, they related to the decapod order.
Yeti crabs species:
There are five identified species.
- Kiwa hirsuta: This species was identified in 2005 by researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium. This crab is apart from the decapod and belongs to a specific family.
- Kiwa puravida: A second was found in 2006 in the water of Costa Rica. It has hairy claws like a furry.
- Kiwa Tyler: this species was uncovered in 2010. This species is in the East Scotia Ridge, just north of Antarctica. It resides in critical conditions, and the temperature may drop 400 degrees celsius.
- Unnamed species: This species was discovered in 2011 at Longqi in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Their claws are short, and the hairs are located on the chest. Their last ancestor was seen 1.5 million years ago.
- Kiwa Aranea: This species was found in 2013 nearby the Australian Antarctica Ridges. It has long claws and does not have bristly hair.
Yeti crab appearance:
The yeti crabs are shaped like crabs, but it looks like the mythical snowman from which it was derived. The defining features are the solid,all-white body, size of about 6 inches, and long claws that ensure they can harvest bacteria.
As described earlier, some have hair on the chest in addition to or in place of the hairy claws. Because of its reduced eyesight, it is thought to be blind.
Yeti crab behavior:
Yeti crabs are a group of deep-sea crabs that belong to the family Kiwaidae. These crabs are known for their unique and interesting behavior, including several environmental adaptations.
Here are some of the known behaviors of yeti crabs:
Yeti crabs are often found in clusters around hydrothermal vents or cold seeps. They are believed to gather in these areas to feed on the bacteria and other organisms around these vents.
Yeti crabs have a thick covering of hair-like structures on their claws, which they use to farm bacteria. They use their claws to comb through the surrounding water, collecting bacteria on their hairs. The bacteria are then scraped off the hairs and eaten by the crab.
Yeti crabs can be aggressive toward each other, especially when competing for food. They have been observed fighting with their claws and using their hair to intimidate other crabs.
Molting: Yeti Crabs
Surely like all crustaceans, yeti crabs molt their exoskeletons as they grow. During molting, they become vulnerable to predators and often retreat to sheltered areas.
Female yeti crabs carry their eggs on their abdomens until they hatch. The female will clean and aerate the eggs during this time to ensure their survival.
Overall, yeti crabs have many fascinating behaviors that are still being studied and understood by scientists.
Yeti crab Distribution, Population, and Habitat:
The yeti crabs are native to the cold habitats of the southern Pacific Ocean region. The hydrothermal vents nearby they live are necessarily cracks in the deep-sea floor where mineral-rich hot water escapes from the land’s surface.
Also they are adapted for this habitat, and survival here requires a careful balance. They can die in the sea if they live away from the vents. But if they live too close, then they may overheat and die.
Yeti crab reproduction and lifespan:
Although the proper information about reproductive behavior and its lifespan is a complete mystery. It is noticed that hydrothermal vents are scalding for larval development. Although the female lays eggs in the colder water.
Yeti crab predators:
The yeti crab has few natural predators. Fish and Deep-sea octopuses may prey on them.
Are yeti crabs dangerous?
Yeti crabs are harmless to humans and can be seen in deep-sea torpedoes due to their hidden and extreme habitats.
Yeti crabs are found in the deep-sea hydrothermal vents of the Pacific Ocean, where they thrive in an environment that would be toxic to most other animals. They have adapted to this extreme environment by developing specialized feeding structures that allow them to harvest bacteria from the hot, mineral-rich water that flows out of the vents.
Studies of the Yeti Crab have provided valuable insights into deep-sea animals’ biology and ecology and hydrothermal vents’ geology and chemistry. The discovery of the Yeti Crab and other unusual creatures living in these extreme environments has also raised questions about the origins of life on Earth and the potential for life on other planets.
In conclusion, the Yeti Crab is a remarkable example of the adaptability and diversity of life on our planet. Its unique features and habitat make it an essential subject for scientific study and a source of wonder and inspiration for all who are fascinated by the mysteries of the deep sea.