Comprehensive Description

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Comprehensive Description

"During a series of submersible dives on the Easter Island Microplate, Michel Segonzac, a Census of Marine Life scientist participating in the March-April 2005 PAR 5 Research Expedition (Chief Scientist: R. Vrijoeneck, MBARI, USA)"., encountered a unique "hairy" crustacean on a hydrothermal site. Dubbed the "Yeti Crab", the crustacean so interested the scientists that they collected a specimen for examination.

This "Yeti Crab" has not been previously encountered in 30 + years of hydrothermal vent exploration. It has proved to be new to science and has been classified as belonging to a new family of crustaceans. Being described as a decapod crustacean, the Yeti Crab would be related to crabs, lobster, and shrimp. However, close examination has revealed that the unique morphology, including a lack of eyes and a profusion of hairlike setae , as well as the genetic code of this organism, Kiwa hirsuta, does not fall within the boundaries of previously described taxonomic groups. This has led to the description and proposal of the new family Kiwaidae, named after Kiwa the Polynesian goddess of shellfish."


(Marine Life Discoveries, Census of Marine Life)

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© Hammock, Jen

Source: EOL Rapid Response Team

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