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New giant deep-sea isopod discovered in the Gulf of Mexico

Still Waters

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Researchers have identified a new species of Bathonymus, the famed genera of deep-sea isopods whose viral internet fame has made them the most famous aquatic crustaceans since Sebastian of "The Little Mermaid."

There are around 20 species of living Bathonymus, a mysterious and primitive group that inhabits the benthic zone of the ocean—its deepest reaches, rarely explored in person. Isopod crustaceans are only distantly related to their better-known decapod relatives, the crabs, shrimp, and lobsters.

Publishing their findings in the Journal of Natural History, a group of Taiwanese, Japanese, and Australian researchers reveal the latest creature to this list: B. yucatanensis, a new species which is around 26 cm long, some 2,500% larger than the common wood louse.



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