Kiwa Tyleri warm crabs in cold habitats

To commemorate a British deep-sea biologist, first species of the yeti crab has been named after him. These crabs of species Kiwa tyleri were found in Antarctica’s hydrothermal vent systems.

Kiwa tyleri was named after a world-renowned professor of the University of Southampton. Paul Tyler, the British professor of deep-sea and polar biology is this esteemed professor.

These crabs belong to Kiwaidae, a squat lobster group, which lives in the hot waters that is surrounded by the hydrothermal vents that are geothermally heated. Present for more than 700 per square yard, the Kiwa tyleri is the predominantly present species here.

These crabs of species Kiwa tyleri

These crabs are covered densely by setae, which look like bristles, and thereby have a fur-like appearance. This characteristic helps them harvest on bacterial mats, found abundantly on vent chimneys.

Trapped for most of its life within the chimney’s warm water environment, Kiwa tyleri remains stationary and unable to move between vents because of the low temperature and the polar environment between vents.

The only nomads would be the females carrying eggs. They move towards the deep-sea at the poles to release the larvae, as the eggs would not survive the warm temperature that is more fitted for the adults.

They are initially small in numbers at the poles, having been members of global oceans. However, the vent systems, which are hypothermic, have provided a suitable habitat.

These crabs are trapped in the vents as they are surrounded by the cold Antarctic climate from all the sides, as stated by the lead author of a paper that describes these crabs, from University of Southampton, Sven Thatje.