Jul 20, 2008

Fuzzy Hermit Crab

Back in 2006, American and Kiwi researchers photographed for the first time ever the creatures living near methane vents in the cold waters off the New Zealand coast. The deep-sea communities surrounding these methane seeps are rich in diversity. And I have cherry-picked them to bring you, in my estimation, one of the ugliest and most fascinating of them.

Below is a photo of a deep-sea hermit crab. See those furry filaments on its claws? They are thought to be used to harvest the energy-rich chemicals infused in the pitch-black water from the methane or hydrogen sulphide seeps. Now how is that for a clever adaptation? Necessity is the mother of invention, and with no sunlight around for energy, these crabs, like many of their abyssal neighbors, have turned to the vents for sustenance. Much like how my brother and his friends seem to draw nourishment from playing Metal Gear Solid 4.

Thanks, Ida.

Photo source: NOAA via NewScientist.com


Anonymous said...

I love how these critters always seem to be similar to your brother in some fashion :)

Kat said...

haha funny site.
rock on.

Mississippi Nature said...

Got your mail. I just love this site!