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Nature & Environment

New species of deep-sea isopod discovered

By T.K. Randall
August 10, 2022 · Comment icon 1 comment

Giant isopods are giant indeed. Image Credit: NOAA
An international group of scientists has identified a new species of giant isopod - and it's pretty big.
A relative of the common woodlouse, these gargantuan deep-sea creatures - which can grow up to 50cm in length - look like the stuff of nightmares, even though they are harmless to humans.

Over the years, images of these gigantic critters have been appearing on the Internet, sometimes accompanied with captions suggesting that they are 'monsters' found on the ocean floor.

In reality, however, there is nothing monstrous about them (apart from their size).

Now scientists from Taiwan, Japan and Australia have revealed the discovery of another new species of giant isopod measuring approximately 26cm long.
Known as B. yucatanensis, it was found deep down beneath the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Despite similarities with its larger cousin B. giganteus, it is definitely a distinct species.

"Bathynomus giganteus was discovered over a century ago, and more than 1,000 specimens have been studied with no suggestion until now of a second species with the same number of pleotelsonic spines," the researchers wrote.

"Superficial examination, using only pleotelson spines, could easily result in specimens of B. yucatanensis being misidentified as B. giganteus."

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by weaselrunner 2 months ago
But are they good with old bay seasoning and butter??

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