Yeti Crab Facts
- Rather understandably, this highly unusual crustacean bears the common name of Yeti Crab. Bearing the scientific name of Kiwa hirsuta, it also goes by the misleading common name of Yeti Lobster.
- Researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute first discovered it in 2005. Further, the fascinating animal now ranks as one of the most unusual types of crustaceans known to man.
- It also has highly specific habitat requirements, which makes it of great interest to many researchers. Additionally, the nature of this creature remains so unique that it spurred the creation of an entirely new Family.
- Lastly, the IUCN does not yet have a classification for this animal, due to the lack of sufficient information at this time. Hopefully, more specimens will be discovered, providing more data.
Yeti Crab Physical Description
Regardless of its rather remarkable appearance, the Yeti Crab remains somewhat smaller than some related species. That’s because mature individuals typically attain an overall body length of about 6 in (15 cm), with no discernible sexual dimorphism.
Its most noticeable feature, however, remains the thick covering of silky hair-like
In addition, its eyes remain quite tiny, and without pigmentation. Many experts understandably believe the creature to be fully blind. Given the nature of its habitat, this seems a reasonable assumption.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Class: Malacostraca
- Order: Decapoda
- Family: Kiwaidae
- Genus: Kiwa
- Species: K. hirsuta
Yeti Crab Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Unfortunately, the truly astounding Yeti Crab appears to only inhabit a highly specific and rather restricted habitat range. To date, however, the only known populations of this impressive animal occur along the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge, south of Easter Island.
In addition, there, it exists at the extreme depth of about 7,200 ft (2,200 m). It therefore spends its life in the darkness of the depths. Further, all known individuals live either on or near hydrothermal vents.
Quite naturally, because of its location, researchers still know very little about parts of its life cycle. However, experts believe it to feed on a combination of small animals and epibiotic bacteria.