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Giant Isopods of the Deep

Posted on Monday, April 5th, 2010 at 9:25 am by

Giant Isopods of the genus Bathynomus have been known to science since the late 1800’s, but the discovery of a particularly large specimen (2-1/2 feet long)  by the Sub-sea Survey Company has sparked the public’s fascination with these pallid pink deep sea “monsters.” Giant Isopods commonly grow up to about a foot long and weigh a little over 3-1/2 pounds. Giant Isopods are crustaceans related to familiar “pill-bugs,” terrestrial Isopods commonly found in our gardens. They live in cold, deep waters of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans where they scavenge whale carcasses and prey on squid, fish, and other crustaceans.

You can see Giant Isopods like the ones pictured above in person at the Shedd aquarium in Chicago, Illinois.

Blue Planet segment showing Giant Isopods scavenging dead tuna

See more photos of Giant Isopods on Flickr

Felicia has been keeping aquariums since the early 90s and has a keen interest in taxonomy, aquaculture, and seahorses. she is the former Liveaquaria Diver's Den photographer and now works for Philadelphia area's largest aquarium specialty store The Hidden Reef.

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