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 (1746 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, a National Science Foundation supported initiative. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web. His forthcoming book, Science of the South (, connects cultural icons of South such as pecan pie with the science behind them.

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