Friday, January 16, 2009
THIS is the Deep Sea or Giant Isopod (Bathynomus giganteus). There seems to be a bit of a following growing for them in the net, as evidenced by this album, a tribute to them. Bathynomus is a deep benthic (bottom dwelling) carnivorous scavenger, which is found mostly in the colder seas of the North Atlantic.
Isopods are crustaceans that live in marine, aquatic, and terrestrial habitats. The best known Isopods are the terrestrial Pill Bugs, aka Roly Polies, Sow Bugs, and Wood Lice. Those of you who spend time near the shore may have also noticed the Sea Lice (or Sea Roaches) that scurry upon dock pilings and jetty rocks. They are, all of them, gill breathers, even the terrestrial varieties (which keep a chamber of water where their gills are housed).
Anyways, Giant Isopods are awesome, because they're one of those animals that looks as if it were designed for cinema rather than the product of nature. Well, enjoy the pictures.