Bathynomus Giganteus: Reddit Solves Mystery of Giant Isopod
A recent submarine expedition has pulled up a rarely seen underwater creature, called the Bathynomus Giganteus. The story behind this particular crab like Bathynomus Goganteus is a wee bit of a mystery.
Apparently, the crew that returned with the Bathynomus Giganteus had no clue what the creature so a technician turned to reddit a social bookmarking site for answers.
The post reads, "I work for a Sub-sea Survey Company, recently this beast came up attached to one of our ROVs. It measures a wee bit over 2.5 feet head to tail, and we expect it latched onto the ROV at roughly 8,500 feet depth. Unfortunately, the e-mail that these pictures were attached to came from a contractor, and the ship he was operating from (and therefore location) is unknown, so I can't tell you what part of the Earth this beast was living."
Well, it turns out the Bathynomus Giganteus is a crustacean or Giant Isopod, inhabiting the the colder, deeper parts of the Oceans around the world, though it is often found in the Atlantic Ocean.
Maturing to an average length between 19 and 36 centimetres (7.5 and 14 in), and maximally reaching a weight and height of approximately 1.7 kilograms (3.7 lb) and 76 centimetres (30 in) respectively in B. giganteus, giant isopods are a good example of deep-sea gigantism(cf. giant squid); most other isopods range in size from 1 to 5 centimetres (0.39 to 2.0 in). Their morphology is nonetheless familiar to most people as giant isopods closely resemble their terrestrial cousin, the woodlouse
The Giant Isopod is a scavenger of the seas, living on the Ocean floor
It is carnivorous and is a valuable scavenger, eating from the deep sea floor whatever falls from above, including bodies of whales, fish, and squid. It may also feed on slow-moving sea cucumbers and sponges. Food is scarce in the deep ocean, and they are adapted to long periods of famine, and will gorge when food is plentiful.
The Bathynomus Giganteus is sometimes found on seafood menus in Taiwan.