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Yeti crab farms bacteria on its arms

I’ve got a new piece in Nature about a newly discovered species of “yeti crab” that farms bacteria on its arms, then eats them. It lives in the deep ocean, near seeps that belch out methane. The bacteria living on its bristly arms (hence the name “yeti crab”) feed off the seeping gases, and the crab encourage the bacteria to grow by rhythmically waving their arms.

Go to Nature to read the full piece. Meanwhile, I loved this quote from lead author Andrew Thurber, which gets across how much there is left to discover about the oceans: “It was a big surprise. There’s a tonne of them, they’re not small, and they’re six hours off a major port in Costa Rica.”

(Photos by Andrew Thurber)