Yeti crab are also known as the Hoff crab named for U.S. actor David Hasselhoff, is famous for the bristles on its body that gives its fur like appearance.
These crabs are known to reside in the Southern Ocean, Antarctica.
The existence provides insights on how marine species survive and flourish in harsh, deep sea environment.
In 2010, Sven Thatje from the University of Southampton and his colleagues has discovered the Yeti crab, when they first captured its images using the remotely operated submersible vehicle or ROV. They were able to collect some specimens about 8,500 feet below the icy surface of Antarctica.
After years of research, the scientists gave it the scientific name Kiwa Tyleri after the renowned British polar and deep ocean biologists Paul Tyler from Southampton University.
Researchers found that Yeti crab managed to sustain itself by growing its own food. It then uses its comb like mouthparts to harvest microbes and eat them.
Dr Thatje said, “The entire belly of the crab is covered in setae that are designed to brush up and harbor bacteria on a large scale.”
By living near the hydrothermal vents, it can also survive below zero degrees Celsius of the oceans. The Yeti crabs stay in their warm water environment for their lifetime. Only the females move out time to time to release their eggs in ocean.
Dr Thatje said, “The Antarctic Yeti Crab is trapped in its warm-water hydrothermal vent site by the cold polar waters of the surrounding deep-sea. The species has adapted to this very limited sized habitat — of a few cubique metres in volume — by occurring in highly-packed densities and by relying on bacteria they grow on their fur-like setae for nutrition.”
The findings of the Yeti crab are published on the June 24 issue of PLOS ONE.