Kiwas: Yeti Crabs

The yeti is a legendary creature of the snow-covered Himalayas. He has been described as an ape-like creature taller than a man and covered with white fur. In the 1920s a reporter for a newspaper in India gave the creature the nickname of “the abominable snowman.” Although no yeti has ever been found, in 2005 biologists found a creature that they named the yeti crab or yeti lobster because of its white, hairy-looking appearance. These name crabs are more properly called kiwas.

The reason kiwas were only discovered in 2005 is that they live in a place that is very difficult to reach–hydrothermal vents at the bottom of the ocean. The hydrothermal vents are openings in the ocean floor in volcanic areas that spew out geothermally-heated water. These thermal vents are places where you would not expect to find life, but like every inch of our planet, there is life there.

The most basic form of life at the thermal vents is bacterial life which feed on the sulfide and methane coming from the vents by oxidizing it. The kiwas feed on the bacteria. The kiwas have a sort of dance with a repeated rhythmic motion. Biologists suspect that the motion helps to increase the flow of the sulfide/methane to feed the bacteria. It seems that the kiwas are feeding their “livestock” to supply food to themselves.

How did kiwas learn to survive around geothermal vents at the bottom of the ocean by nurturing their own food? This yeti really exists, and we think it’s another evidence of the work of the Creator of life.
© Roland Earnst

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