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The Giant Isopod

giant isopod  

Shining A Light On The Giant Isopod

The latest addition to the aquarium’s Scavengers of the Deep Exhibit can best be described as something you might see in a science fiction movie set in a post-apocalyptic future about underwater armadillos taking over the world.

What is this odd creature?

Formally known as Bathynomus giganteus, the Giant isopod is a fascinating, secluded creature that lingers and thrives in the coldest, deepest waters of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans sometimes as far down as 7,000 feet! This isopod, distantly related to the shrimp and the crab, is a bottom feeder that sustains itself consuming the carcasses of whales, fish and squid that collect on the ocean floor. This voracious creature has a very healthy appetite that’s been known to eat live fish caught in trawl nets, sometimes eating so much that it compromises its ability to move!

Come see the great job The Key West Aquarium team has done recreating the Giant isopod’s natural ecosystem so visitors can observe and learn about this truly unique species of marine life!

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