History of the Yeti crab

Line drawing of K. hirsuta.
(Courtesy MBARI © 2006).

Approximately one year after the discovery of K. hirsuta, a population of Kiwa crabs was discovered near Costa Rica but not described (Spear 2009).  In February 2009, the CRROCKS! (Costa Rica Rocks) research cruise, sponsored by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, confirmed the existence of Yeti crabs, which they determined through morphological and molecular characters to belong to a novel Kiwa species (Levin 2009), in cool methane seeps off the coast of Costa Rica (Spear 2009). Though Kiwa n. sp. has yet to be formally described (Thurber 2009), this discovery assuredly represents another exciting development in the field of malacostrology.

With Kiwa species having been found in both the hot sulphurous waters of the southeast Pacific and the cool, hydrocarbonaceous waters of Central America, who knows where the thrilling next discovery will be made?

To learn more about the Yeti crab's native habitat, click here.

More history