Habitat

After being seen near the hydrothermal vents in Antarctica in 2001, the first batch of examples of Kiwa Hirsute were collected along the short stretch of ocean floor, 1500 kilometers south of the Easter Island(37°50’S). Violent geothermal activities of this area caused three hydrothermal vents in the deep sea which named Sebastian’s Steamer, Pâle Étoile, and Annie’s Anthill at about two thousand meters deep. Based on the location of the examples, Annie’s Anthill gave the northernmost boundary of family Kiwa in 2006.  A large population of Kiwa Hirsute was found near the coast of Costa Rica in 2007. Although the range of the habitat given by Annie’s Anthill has been influenced by this discovery, the habitat of Kiwa Hirsute could be described as the hydrothermal vents in Antarctica.

As the influence of the subterranean magma and deep sea water, the black smoke of hydrothermal vents provides intense heat (more than 400°C), strong acid and abundant mineral substance. The darkness and high press conditions of the deep sea also created an extreme environment.

Kiwa Hirsute perches at the base of the chimney between other hydrothermal vent creatures. In general, the environment in the deep sea hydrothermal vent is stable as long as the hydrothermal vents are not active. The sustained black smoke of hydrothermal vent provides abundant energy source to the creatures around. The Kiwa Hirsute is a social animal that gathers on the zone of pillow basalt surrounding active hydrothermal vents. Bayhymodiolus(Vent mussels), bythograeid crabs and ophidiid fish share the habitat with Kiwa Hirsute. The habitat of them is usually crowded with a clear boundary.

A research suggests that the males of Kiwa seem to prefer warmer water while the egg-carrying females and juveniles keen on the colder water. The activity scope of the Kiwa Hirsute depends on the temperature of the sea water. The intense hot water from vents cools down rapidly by mixture with the cold water surrounding. The requirement of specified temperature means that the habitat of Kiwa Hirsute is narrow. However, it could reduce the competition between the Kiwa Hirsute and the male-female ratio will not vary considerably.

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A NEW SPECIES DISCOVERED IN 2005