Tuesday, December 18, 2007


The creature, dubbed the "yeti crab," is so unusual that a whole new family of animal had to be created to classify it. Its official name is Kiwa hirsuta, and even after a year of study scientists say there's still much about it they don't understand.

One mystery is the purpose of the fine, hairlike filaments that coat the crab's arms and legs. The fibers trap bacteria, which the crab may use as food. But some scientists think the germs may filter out the toxic minerals that spew from the deep-sea vents.

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