Looks like a giant bug, but in reality they are deep-sea creatures

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2022-01-13 23:08:12

Giant isopods, or Bathynomus giganteus, may look like overgrown cockroaches or bugs, but they’re a creature of the crustacean family. Belongs to the order Isopoda, which includes more than 10,000 species and 4,500 of which are found in marine environments. However, only 20 species are known in the genus Bathynomus to date.

Unlike their small terrestrial cousins, these exotic marine animals often reach a length of 19 to nearly 40 centimeters. Some of the larger species are classified as “super-giant” arthropods and can grow to a body size of up to 20 inches (more than 50 centimeters).

Looks like a giant beetle, but in fact they are deep-sea creatures - Photo 2.

Scientists theorize that their enormous size is an adaptation to the extreme temperatures of their deep-sea habitats, but they don’t know for sure why they get to be so large. .

One of the largest giant isopods on record is a 2.5-foot (nearly 80 centimeters) giant discovered in 2010. The creature was accidentally brought to the surface after it came to the surface. it attaches itself to a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) at a depth of 8,500 feet (2.6 km) under the sea.

Giant arthropod with 14 insect-like legs on its body with two large reflective eyes. Even more terrifying is that their mouth has four sets of jaws, and can easily swallow hard shells and animal carcasses found on the ocean floor.

Like most deep-sea animals, the giant cephalopods are not aggressive. Their slow metabolism allows them to be in a semi-hibernating state, so they rarely need to feed. Some giant isopods in captivity can live up to 5 years without food.

Looks like a giant beetle, but in fact they are creatures living in the deep sea - Photo 3.

Giant isopods are carnivorous crustaceans. Because food is extremely scarce, they gradually get used to having to eat anything dropped from the upper water layer and eat some small animals at the same depth. The length to which the giant-like legs can reach is from 19 to 37 cm, but when threatened they will curl up to be protected in a very hard crustacean shell.

Looks like a giant beetle, but in fact they are deep-sea creatures - Photo 4.

This creature has a rather complex palate structure to ensure the full functions of a carnivore: piercing, tearing, dissecting prey. They mainly live in less volatile waters with depths from 170 to more than 2,100m, where there is high pressure and the average temperature is below 4 degrees Celsius.

Looks like a giant beetle, but in fact they are deep-sea creatures - Photo 5.

Pictured is one of the largest recorded giant isopods. It is a 2.5-foot giant that attached itself to a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

Looks like a giant beetle, but in fact they are creatures living in the deep sea - Photo 6.

It is one of two species of giant isopods seen during Dive 11 of the Southeastern United States Deep Sea Expedition in 2019.

Looks like a giant beetle, but in fact they are deep-sea creatures - Photo 7.

French zoologist Alphonse Milne-Edwards first described the species in 1879 after his colleague Alexander Agassiz collected a juvenile male from the Gulf of Mexico. This was an exciting discovery for both scientists and the public, as at the time the idea of ​​a lifeless deep ocean had been disproved by Charles Wyville Thomson not long before.

Looks like a giant beetle, but in fact they are deep-sea creatures - Photo 8.

In fact, giant isopods are of little interest to most commercial fisheries because they have no value, but are well known for attacking and killing fish caught in trawls. Despite their peaceful personalities, giant isopods can still be dangerous, with sharp legs and sharp jaws, enough to cause dangerous wounds with a high chance of infection if you don’t catch them. it carefully.

Looks like a giant beetle, but in fact they are deep-sea creatures - Photo 9.

Giant isopods have been recorded in the Western Atlantic Ocean from the coast of Georgia (USA) to Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. Four known Atlantic species – B. falusus, B. miyarei, B. maxeyorum, and B. giganteus – are the only species recorded off the coast of the United States. The remaining giant isopods are restricted to the Indo-Pacific.

Looks like a giant beetle, but in fact they are creatures living in the deep sea - Photo 10.

Giant arthropods are important scavengers in deep-sea benthic habitats; They are mainly found at depths of 170 m to 2,140 m, where there is high pressure and very low temperature. Several species of this genus have been found at shallower depths, notably B. miyarei from 22 to 280 m, B. Decemspinosus from 70 to 80 m, and B. doederleini at 100 m. The depth record for giant isopods is 2,500 m – B. kensleyi, but this species also occurs at depths of 300 m.

Looks like a giant beetle, but in fact they are deep-sea creatures - Photo 11.

Several studies of the seasonal abundance of juveniles and adults have shown that fertility of this species peaks in spring and winter. This is due to a shortage of food during the summer.

Looks like a giant beetle, but in fact they are deep-sea creatures - Photo 12.

Isopod digestive and metabolic functions are very slow, they take years to digest food, and it will take many more years to defecate and as you may not know, their close cousins It is the “tongue-biting bug” or “tongue-eating louse”.

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