May 15, 2009

Yeti Vocab

For some reason, I never posted on the yeti crab when it's discovery was first published back in 2006. Jelo brought it back to my attention, and I thought I'd go ahead and introduce the crustacean to Ugly Overload.

Even a cursory study of the six-inch yeti crab (Kiwa hirsuta, though I like to call it the abominable snowcrab) introduces you to a lot of fun vocabulary: decapod, pereiopods, setae, filamentous bacteria, and hydrothermal vents just to start. Decapods because, as you might guess with a crab, this creature has ten legs. Pereiopods because its thoracic legs, including the claws, are covered with fine blonde setae (hairs, for our purposes). Filamentous bacteria because they reside in the hairs of the claws and may help detoxify the harsh minerals found in the crab's native waters to the south of Easter Island, and way, way down. Hydrothermic vents because they live by them, and benefit from the heat, though the harsh minerals spewing forth from the vents make the bacteria a necessity.

So there you go, a post that should have been written three years ago. Thanks, Jelo.

Oh, and the obvious vocab: Kiwa is the name of the Polynesian shellfish goddess. Hirsuta is Latin for hairy. Kudos to the researchers of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and Ifremer and their plucky submarine Alvin for discovering this hairy shellfish goddess.


Anonymous said...

Did you see this?

Cat said...

I want to just hug it!

Am I weird?