In 2005, a rare new animal was discovered, specifically a crustacean that was given the common name of Yeti Crab, although its scientific name is Kiwa Hirsuta.
Discovery of the Yeti Crab
South of Easter Island at a distance of approximately 2,230 m, a rare animal, the Yeti Crab, the first member of the Kiwaidae family, was discovered in 2005.
A little later, in 2006, in the waters of Costa Rica, scientists discovered crabs that are characterized by a strange appearance and called them Kiwa Puravida.
The latter also belongs to the Kiwaidae family. But it was not until 2011 that it became known to the world.
However, at present only one specimen of this species is being studied, which represents a significant barrier to the broad development of the particularities that this new species represents.
Characteristics of the Yeti Crab
The Yeti crab is a very distant relative of the hermit crab, but it is genetically different, that is, it is nothing like the crabs we are used to seeing.
Physically it’s quite big and can reach about 15 centimeters, so it’s much bigger than other rare crustaceans.
It also has long, huge, hairy pincers on its front legs.
It was named Yeti crab because of its white color and abundant silks. It is a very light color, some researchers claim that it is an “albino” species.
The silks found in its claws possess bacteria whose function is still debated by researchers.
Some of the researchers have said that they grow them and then use them to feed on, while others suggest that they serve to protect themselves from many viruses found around them.
A third hypothesis indicates that these bacteria are very useful for cleaning toxic substances from the water.
This rare crustacean is very elusive but has no eyes, only a membrane where the eyes should be.
It can move around in the depths of the sea thanks to its silks and tweezers. They also have an excellent ability to adapt to extreme living conditions.
The life expectancy of the Yeti crab is not known exactly, as it is a new species for scientists and not all the questions about this amazing and rare crustacean have been clarified.
Yeti Crab bacteria: What are they for?
The first theory that was considered after the discovery of the yeti crab is that these bacteria colonies would be useful to clean the water of toxic substances and although this statement is not wrong, the theory could be completed later defining more functions of the bacteria colonies in their symbiosis with the crab.
Sometime later, a crab was discovered that was very similar to the yeti crab that was scientifically named Kiwa puravida. Thanks to this specimen, it was discovered that the multiple colonies of bacteria in its claws served the yeti crab as food.
Where does this crustacean live?
The Yeti crab lives in places of hot water and extreme depth. The most comfortable place for these species are lava flows.
These places, because they are so hot, are almost impossible for other types of animals to inhabit because they cannot survive the high temperatures.
However, the Yeti crab is so rare that unlike other animals it can survive without any problem in the midst of extreme heat.
What does the Yeti crab feed on?
According to studies conducted on the digestive system of this rare type of animal, it is believed to be a carnivore.
However, there is also another theory that they subsist on a diet based on marine animals, algae and mussels.
In order to feed, the Yeti crab traps its food, but first it makes sure that the food is the right size to digest it completely, since most crabs’ teeth are found in their stomach.
Reproduction of the Yeti crab
Since this species was only recently discovered and studies of it are not as advanced, very little is known about yeti crab reproduction.
Predators and Threats they face
Due to the plundering of resources and climate change, the lives of these animals are more vulnerable to extinction than had been imagined.
Animals such as Yeti crabs are very vulnerable to exploitation of resources in the deep sea.
Humans, as a species, have a responsibility to act as wisely and ethically as possible to preserve the biodiversity of our planet.