From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Yeti crab)
Jump to: navigation, search
Kiwa puravida.tif
Kiwa puravida
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Crustacea
Class: Malacostraca
Order: Decapoda
Infraorder: Anomura
Superfamily: Chirostyloidea
Family: Kiwaidae
Macpherson, Jones & Segonzac, 2006
Genus: Kiwa
Macpherson, Jones & Segonzac, 2006

Kiwa is a genus of marine decapods living at deep-sea hydrothermal vents and cold seeps. The animals are commonly referred to as "yeti lobsters" or "yeti crabs", after the mythical yeti.[1] The genus is placed in its own family, Kiwaidae, in the superfamily Chirostyloidea.[2]

Two species have been described: Kiwa hirsuta discovered in 2005,[1] and Kiwa puravida, discovered in 2006.[3] A third species, known colloquially as the "Hoff crab", has been discovered on the East Scotia Ridge, and named Kiwa tyleri after its discoverer, Paul Tyler of Southampton University.[4][5] although analysis of mitochondrial and nuclear rDNA markers confirm that it is genetically distinct from K. hirsuta.[5] The same data suggest a divergence time for the two species of 12 million years ago.[5] In 2011 a very similar morph to the one collected at the East Scotia Ridge was collected from vents on the South West Indian Ridge.[6]

Population of Kiwa around a hydrothermal vent

Based on the presence of sulphur-oxidising bacteria on the setae of both K. hirsuta and the new species, they may both feed on bacteria in addition to scavenging.[5] For K. puravida, the bacteria have been identified and the feeding behaviour observed, as well as a cyclical rhythmic motion of the crab documented that is suspected to increase the flow of methane and sulfide, the bacterial food, towards the bacteria.[3] The two sexes of the new species prefer different temperatures, with males seeming to prefer warmer water and egg-carrying females and juveniles preferring the coldest.[5]

Macpherson et al. named the genus Kiwa after "the goddess of the shellfish in the Polynesian mythology", although Kiwa is a male guardian of the sea in Maori mythology.[7]


  1. ^ a b E. Macpherson; W. Jones; M. Segonzac (2006). "A new squat lobster family of Galatheoidea (Crustacea, Decapoda, Anomura) from the hydrothermal vents of the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge" (PDF). Zoosystema 27 (4): 709–723. 
  2. ^ K. E. Schnabel; S. T. Ahyong; E. W. Maas (2011). "Galatheoidea are not monophyletic – molecular and morphological phylogeny of the squat lobsters (Decapoda: Anomura) with recognition of a new superfamily". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 58 (2): 157–168. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2010.11.011. PMID 21095236. 
  3. ^ a b Andrew R. Thurber; William J. Jones; Kareen Schnabel (2011). "Dancing for food in the deep sea: bacterial farming by a new species of yeti crab". PLoS ONE 6 (11): e26243. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0026243. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b c d e Alex D. Rogers; Paul A. Tyler; Douglas P. Connelly; Jon T. Copley; Rachael James; et al. (2012). "The discovery of new deep-sea hydrothermal vent communities in the Southern Ocean and implications for biogeography". PLoS Biology 10 (1): e1001234. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001234. PMC 3250512. PMID 22235194. 
  6. ^ Rebecca Morelle (December 28, 2011). "Deep-sea creatures at volcanic vent". BBC News. 
  7. ^ Elsdon Best (1924). "IV. Cosmogony and Anthropogeny". The Maori - Volume 1. pp. 89–105. 

External links[edit]

  • Data related to Kiwa at Wikispecies
  • Media related to Kiwa at Wikimedia Commons

See also[edit]