Hydrothermal vents in the Southern Ocean are the physiologically most isolated chemosynthetic environments known. Recently, UK researcher has discovered the first species of yeti crab known from these environments, where is the dominant macrofauna - With 700 crabs per square meter.
Kiwa crabs, aka Yeti crabs are currently three known species, K. puravida and K hirsuta, which are from the deep sea off Costa Rica and the hydrothermal vents on the Pacific-Antartic Ridge.
The new species called Kiwa tyleri, has adapted to this very limited sized habitat, by living in highly-packed densities and by relying on bacteria they grown on they fur-like setae for nutrition.
Photo: In order, a male and female Kiwa tyleri
scale bar is 10 cm; by Thatje et al. 2015.
Reference (Open Access):
Thatje et al. 2015. Adaptations to Hydrothermal Vent Life in Kiwa tyleri, a New Species of Yeti Crab from the East Scotia Ridge, Antarctica. PLoS ONE