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Yeti Crab

These animals live on Crab legs and on Earth.

Kiwa hirsuta is a crustacean discovered in 2005 in the South Pacific Ocean. This decapod, which is approximately 15 cm (6 inches) long, is notable for the quantity of silky blond setae (resembling fur) covering its pereiopods (thoracic legs, including claws). Its discoverers dubbed it the "yeti lobster" or "yeti crab"[2].

K. hirsuta was discovered in March 2005 by a group organised by Robert Vrijenhoek of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in Monterey, California, using the submarine DSV Alvin, operating from RV Atlantis[3]. The discovery was announced on the 7th of March, 2006. It was found 1,500 km (900 miles) south of Easter Island in the South Pacific, at a depth of 2,200 m (7,200 feet), living on hydrothermal vents along the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge[4]. Based on both morphology and molecular data, the species was deemed to form a new genus and family (Kiwaidae). The animal has strongly reduced eyes that lack pigment, and is thought to be blind.

The 'hairy' pincers contain filamentous bacteria, which the creature may use to detoxify poisonous minerals from the water emitted by the hydrothermal vents where it lives. Alternatively, it may feed on the bacteria, although it is thought to be a general carnivore[2]. Its diet also consists of green algae and small shrimp.

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