here The cabin itself has plenty of oddment storage, including the closed-in centre console and pockets in all doors. In terms of quality, the interior is on a par with other VW Group cars. The switchgear is logically placed and nicely damped and the materials used are good to touch.
The ambience was lifted in our test car by leather upholstery and Skoda's excellent touch-screen infotainment system. Until I found that out I would have sworn that our car was powered by the hp version of this engine, but perhaps that's down to the fact that the car had only km on the clock when we took the keys. Saying that, the Skoda Yeti never felt slow, with plenty of effortless torque on hand to help with overtaking, etc.
For the most part it is refined and relatively quiet, though at times we were surprised with how audible the engine is. The gearchange itself is slow and chunky, though there's no need to hurry the shifts in this car.
Psychologically, the shift might be more satisfying if Skoda fitted a smaller gear knob. In terms of four-wheel drive hardware, there's not a lot for the driver to do. There's a Haldex coupling between the front and rear axles that controls the torque split depending on the situation - and with direction from the electronic sensors.
The rear wheels are employed more than you might imagine, even in everyday situations. There is an 'Off Road' button on the dashboard, but all this does is alter the strategy of the various electronic sub-systems in a bid to ease the control of the car in slippery situations. It's remarkably effective too, but more on that below. During our first few days with the Skoda Yeti there was a lot of snow on the ground and we pushed the four-wheel drive system to its limits.
Not once did we get stuck, despite the lack of winter tyres, while others around us struggled. In fact, the Yeti was a bit of a hoot in these conditions - when there was room to spare. Following the thaw the Yeti proved to be quite an enjoyable drive. Its steering is a little lifeless, but the confidence inspiring four-wheel drive system allows quick corner exits and fuss-free tackling of junctions - even on damp and greasy surfaces.
Body control is excellent too. Our only minor criticism would be that the ride comfort is a little firm and more bumps make their way through to the cabin than we'd like. It was "almost like a sight from another planet," said expedition leader Alex Rogers, a professor of zoology at Oxford University.
Even in the eye-popping world of deep-sea vents, the Antarctic discoveries stand out, with the unfamiliar species of crabs found crowded in piles around the warm waters emanating from the seafloor. Many of the animals found at the vents have never been found at hydrothermal vents in other oceans, Rogers said.
In the dayless world of deep-sea vents, energy comes not from the sun but from the hydrothermal energy generated in the oceanic crust. The yeti crabs seem to cultivate "gardens" of bacteria on their chests, which are covered with hairy tendrils.
These bacterial mats almost certainly provides the crabs with sustenance, Rogers said. In turn, predatory seven-armed sea stars stalk the periphery of the vents, snacking on unfortunate crabs. He and his colleagues reported their results today Jan.
Weird life flourishes at deep-sea vents the world over, but no one had ever found hydrothermal vents in Antarctica, explained Jon Copley, a professor of earth and ocean science at the University of Southampton who also participated in the research. That's largely because it's more difficult to do research in the harsh Southern Ocean than in temperate climes. In , Antarctic mapping surveys turned up hints of hydrothermal vent output in the water column over the East Scotia Ridge in the Atlantic section of the Southern Ocean, between Antarctica and South America and eastward.
It took 10 years for researchers to get back for a full-blown expedition, during which they lowered cameras to two areas, 8, feet 2, meters and 7, feet 2, m deep, catching the first glimpses of Antarctic hydrothermal vents.
Among them were "black smokers," chimney-like vents that emit dark-hued, superheated water. Although the background temperature of the Southern Ocean in the area is 32 degrees Fahrenheit 0 degrees Celsius , the black smokers gushed water as hot as degrees F degrees C. In , the researchers returned with a remote-operated submersible vehicle ROV called Isis. The sub took close-up photos of the amazing vent fauna and collected samples of organisms for identification.
Among the new species were the yeti crabs, crowded around the vents up to per square meter. Crabs normally don't tolerate cold temperatures well, so the vents may be a warm haven for these crabs, Copley said. Unlike vents in other oceans, the Antarctic vents lack tube worms, mussels and shrimp.
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Instead they harbor new species of barnacles and anemones, as well as a large brown spiral-shelled snail. The researchers even saw ghost-pale octopuses, which seemed drawn to the lights of the ROV.
The discovery helps fill a gap in researchers' understanding of how deep-sea life disperses around the oceans, Rogers said.