They Should Have Named It Chewbacca

| | Courtesy AP|

Scientists from France, Spain and the U.S. have announced the discovery of a really gnarly-looking "hairy lobster." The decapod represents an entirely new family of crustaceans—new species are found often, but a new family is quite unusual. Kiwa hirsuta, whose name comes from Kiwa, the Polynesian goddess of shellfish (who knew?), lives near hydrothermal vents in the South Pacific. The crustacean's hairy appendages harbor numerous bacteria, the function of which is not understood. Considering how much sulfur and other chemicals are in the water around hydrothermal vents, I don't think these decapods will be particularly good eatin'.—Martha Harbison