April 4, 2013

A giant isopod can be any of the almost 20 species of large isopods (crustaceans related to shrimp and crabs) in the genus Bathynomus. The species are noted for resemblance to the common woodlouse or pill bug, to which they are related. The few specimens caught in the Americas with baited traps are sometimes seen in public aquariums. They grow to between 7.5 and 14 inches and can weigh up to 4 lbs.  We think he’s kind of cute, in an alien kind of way!

In the bonus video below from the Sustainable Seas Expedition, shared by photographer Kip Evans, National Geographic & NOAA, Sylvia Earle dives deep off the Dry Tortugas in the Gulf of Mexico – and finds Deep Sea Isopods! Typically, they inhabit the depths below 1,200′ or greater.


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