Kiwa Hirsuta, the Hirsute (‘hairy’…aka Yeti) Crab, is just one of the many darlings of the deep. The deep ocean is both literally and figuratively a great wilderness. Even today, the technology to scour the deep ocean is expensive and not readily available to most researchers. Yet, through various channels – usually fisheries – we occasionally find gems like this demure crustacean.
Described fairly recently (Macpherson, Jones and Segonzac, 2005), this blind fascination was collected at 2228M deep with a slurp gun on a geothermal vent at the Easter Island Microplate. The golden setae of this Squat Lobster’s common namesake are a highly sensory evolution. The “hair” is thought by some to assist in feeding (the setae trap chemobacteria). Interestingly, all that is known about this species comes from a single specimen collected via the Alvin submersible on the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge (South Pacific Ocean 37°46.50’S, 110°54.70’W).