Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Cool Critter of the Day

A team of American-led divers has discovered a new crustacean in the South Pacific that resembles a lobster and is covered with what looks like silky, blond fur, French researchers said Tuesday.

Scientists said the animal, which they named Kiwa hirsuta, was so distinct from other species that they created a new family and genus for it.

The divers found the animal in waters 7,540 feet deep at a site 900 miles south of Easter Island last year, according to Michel Segonzac of the
French Institute for Sea Exploration.

The new crustacean is described in the journal of the
National Museum of Natural History in Paris.

The animal is white and just shy of 6 inches long — about the size of a salad plate.
[…] It is also blind. The researchers found it had only "the vestige of a membrane" in place of eyes, Segonzac said.

[…] The family was named Kiwaida, from Kiwa, the goddess of crustaceans in Polynesian mythology.

In BSF this year we are studying Genesis. When I looked at the picture of the critter, the first thing that came to my mind was Esau, the hairy brother of Jacob. Perhaps it is really just an ordinary lobster in disguise, trying to steal the blessing of its hairy brother.

Or perhaps it is trying to imitate a mammal to avoid being eaten during Lent.

White, long blonde hair, living in the depths - at least they didn't name it after Britney Spears.