(AP) Divers have discovered a new crustacean in the South Pacific that resembles a lobster and is covered with what looks like silky, blonde 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 genus and new family for it.
A team of American-led 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, or IFREMER.
The new crustacean is described in the journal of the National Museum of Natural History in Paris. The animal is white and 5.9 inches long, about the size of a salad plate.
In what Segonzac described as a "surprising characteristic," the animal's pincers are covered with sinuous, hair-like strands. The diving expedition was organized by Robert Vrijenhoek of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in California.