Saturday, February 11, 2017

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Giant Isopod

Giant Isopod

The giant isopod, known scientifically as Bathynomus Gigantes, is the largest known member of the isopod family. They are abundant in cold, deep waters of Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans.The giant isopod is also related to the small pillbugs that you can find in the garden.

The enormous size of giant isopods is the result of a phenomenon known as deep-sea gigantism This is the tendency of deep sea crustaceans and other animals to grow to a much larger size than similar species in shallower waters. Other examples of this would be the giant squid and the giant tube worm.They can grow between 7.5 and 14.2 inches in length, but they can get much bigger: One specimen pulled up with an ROV in 2010 was 2.5 feet long. Scientists aren't quite sure why these isopods get so enormous but believe that their huge size might be an adaptation that helps them survive the extreme pressure of the deep ocean.Their shells come in two colors: brown and pale lilac.

The giant isopod is a carnivorous crustacean that spends its time scavenging the deep sea floor. Food is extremely scarce at these great depths, so the isopod has adapted to eat whatever happens to fall from above.Some evidence also suggests that they might also eat slow-moving live animals like sponges.Giant isopods also attack trawl catches.When threatened, they curl up like pillbugs.The isopod can go for long periods of time without eating and has been known to survive over eight weeks without food in when kept in captivity.

Giant Isopods reproduce by laying eggs.These eggs are thought to be the largest of all the marine invertebrates.Females don’t eat when they’re brooding; instead, they bury themselves in sediment to reduce energy use and to protect the eggs.

 Giant isopods are found in most oceans of the world. Their habitat ranges in depth from the dimly lit sublittoral zone at 550 ft (170 m) to the pitch darkness of the bathypelagic zone at 7,020 ft (2,140 m). They prefer mud or clay ocean bottom areas where they prefer to live solitary lives.


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