The Fur-Bearing Lobster
Science has long recognized the existence of the fur-bearing trout
, which lives in the rivers and lakes of North America. Now its Pacific cousin has been found: the fur-bearing lobster (scientific name Kiwa hirsuta
). According to the BBC
, "A US-led team found the animal last year in waters 2,300m (7,540ft) deep at a site 1,500km (900 miles) south of Easter Island, an expert has claimed. Details appear in the journal of Paris' National Museum of Natural History."
So what is the purpose of the fur? Scientists speculate that "the 'hairy' pincers contained lots of filamentous bacteria... The bacteria detoxify poisonous minerals from the water, allowing K. hirsuta to survive around the vents."
An interesting theory, but it seems to me more logical to assume that its luxuriant coat developed to protect it from the cold waters of the depths, as is the case with the fur-bearing trout.
[Note: Despite what the above text might imply, fur-bearing trout are a tall-tale. Furry lobsters are real.]
(Thanks to Kathy for the link)
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