Animals: Researchers find new 26 centimeter deep-sea isopods – knowledge

Researchers have identified a new species of giant isopod in the Gulf of Mexico. The animal with the technical name Bathynomus yucatanensis is around 26 centimeters long and thus around 25 times larger than an ordinary woodlice, writes the team in the trade journal Journal of Natural History.

The species with the mottled and yellow-colored top was discovered at a depth of 600 to 800 meters off the Yucatán Peninsula. Researchers originally thought it was a variant of the giant isopod Bathynomus giganteus. But closer examination of an animal caught in a baited trap in 2017 revealed a number of unique characteristics, according to Ming-Chih Huang’s team at the National University of Tainan (Taiwan). The identification of the new species brings the total number of known Bathynomus species in the Gulf of Mexico to three. According to the information, the appearance of the species is very similar.

According to this, around 20 currently existing Bathynomus species are known worldwide, which live in deep areas of the oceans and breathe through gills. These woodlice belong to the same group of animals as the woodlice found under rocks or in the ground. They look quite similar except for size. The largest of the sea creatures can be around 50 centimeters long. Like woodlice, they are completely harmless to humans.

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