Another New Yeti Crab!!??

Yeti crab clambers over a scaly-foot snail

You heard here first people, another new species of Yeti crab may be out there!  Jon Copley just sent this message along.

Well hey, a couple of weeks ago we found yet more yeti crabs out here at vents on the SW Indian Ridge, different in morphology to the Costa Rican seep and southern Pacific vent species (incidentally, K. hirsuta was described from the Pacific, rather than the Indian Ocean).

For a few first-glimpse photos, check out

These boys don’t dance though, unlike the “puravida”s (which does sound a bit like a Ricky Martin song).

As a disclaimer these have not been officially or scientifically described as a new species but rather preliminary evidence indicates the potential for a new species.

Also at this same vent field, the Dragon Vent field, the group found scaly-foot snails in the hottest habitat around the black smokers.

Close-up of a scaly-foot snail

UPDATE: Word from Jon Copley on the potential new Kiwa species is “while their carapace suture patterns etc fit the description of the family and genus, they don’t have elongated, hirsute chelae [shaggy hair] – instead they have rows of dense bristles on their ventral carapace, a bit like a carpet sweeper”


Dr. M (1714 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, created to facilitate research to address fundamental questions in evolutionary science. He has conducted deep-sea research for 11 years and published over 40 papers in the area. He has participated in dozens of expeditions taking him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses mainly on marine systems and particularly the biology of body size, biodiversity, and energy flow. He focuses often on deep-sea systems as a natural test of the consequences of energy limitation on biological systems. He is the author and chief editor of Deep-Sea News, a popular deep-sea themed blog, rated the number one ocean blog on the web and winner of numerous awards. Craig’s popular writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.

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