Isopod, giant

Giant isopod

Lumbers, looking for a meal.

Eats too much to walk

The giant isopods, Bathynomus giganteus, exemplify the phenomena of abyssal gigantism where organisms in the deep ocean are significantly larger than their shallow water or terrestrial counterparts. For the giant isopod this translates into a “pillbug” over 70 cm long. Like isopods on B. giganteus feed on the “waste” that accumulates on the seafloor, mostly in the form of animal carcasses. True to the form of deep sea organisms, these isopods are adapted to living off of irregular large meals. When the isopod finally finds a meal it can eat so much that it won’t be able to move for a while afterwards.

Giant Isopod. Courtesy Wikimedia commons


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