09.05.2016

Biology science journal articles

Marine biologists from British Antarctic Survey and the University of Southampton, UK, have described the first species of yeti crab known from the Southern Ocean, Antarctica. The new species, scientifically named Kiwa tyleri, belongs to Kiwaidae – an enigmatic group of squat lobsters that live in the hot waters surrounding the geothermally heated hydrothermal vents.
The group currently consists of three known species – Kiwa puravida, Kiwa hirsuta, and Kiwa tyleri, of which the new species is the only known representative in the Southern Ocean. Kiwa tyleri is known from two vent sites situated on the northern and southern segments of the East Scotia Ridge in the Southern Ocean. Kiwa tyleri is notable for its body, which is densely covered by bristles and bacteria, giving it a fur-like outer appearance.
Female Kiwa tyleri carrying eggs only move away from vent chimneys, and into the surrounding polar deep-sea, in order to release their larvae; these would otherwise not survive the warmer temperatures of the adult habitat.


Kiwa tyleri is named after the British deep-sea and polar biologist Prof Paul Tyler from the University of Southampton.
Kiwa puravida was found at cold seep in the deep sea off Costa Rica, and Kiwa hirsuta from the periphery of deep-sea hydrothermal vents on the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge. It is the dominant species at the sites occurring at high densities, exceeding 700 specimens per m2.
Kiwa puravida and Kiwa hirsuta occur in low-density aggregations of few specimens per m2, whereas Kiwa tyleri presents densely packed aggregations exceeding 700 individuals per m2, with a maximum observed abundance of 4,017 individuals per m2,” the scientists wrote in a paper published in the journal PLoS ONE. This appearance is advantageous as it allows the animal to harvest the dense bacterial mats that overgrow the surfaces of vent chimneys, which it depends on for food from chemosynthetic bacteria. Adaptations to Hydrothermal Vent Life in Kiwa tyleri, a New Species of Yeti Crab from the East Scotia Ridge, Antarctica.


The team will also examine whether climate-related changes to ocean currents are contributing to the eel’s decline.”Principal scientist for Marine Heritage and Ocean Human Health at the Department of Conservation Services Dr.
Bermuda, as founding member of the Sargasso Sea Alliance, can be very proud to be playing a role in figuring out how to add protection measures to these important species.



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