Deep Sea Isopod
| ||Name: Deep Sea Isopod|
|Scientific name: Bathynomus giganteus|
|Range: Bay of Bengal, ArabianSea, Gulf of Mexico, and the South Western Atlantic off Brazil. |
|Habitat: Sea bottom (about 2000feet) and also some have colonized freshwater habitats |
|Status: Not Threatened|
|Diet in the wild: fish, sponges, small crustaceans,nematode worms, protozoans.|
|Diet in the zoo: Fish Food and Dried Shrimp|
|Location in the zoo: JamesR Record Aquarium|
- Body is divided into three distinctregions: head, thorax, and abdomen
- Very Large set of compound eyes
- Two pairs of antannae
- Four sets of jaws
- Oblong body shape
- Distinct calcified segments
- One pair of appendages to each segment
- Grows up to 18 inches
Live on the ocean floor below 1200feetMainly found in the West Atlantic OceanRelated to the pillbug, sowbug, lobster,crab, and shrimpFood scavengersGrow to 18" long and weigh up to 3poundsPrimary predators are tiger sharksLive in area that have little to nolightWater temperature is extremely coldFood is scarce in habitat and manyadapt to feast or famineIsopod means similar footed. (iso-similar, pod-foot)Have the ability to catch large prey
Feeding and Development:
The Isopods feeding habitsare extremely diverse. Some groups are parasitic and some travelin large groups at night. They prey on diseased or injured fish andalso attack fish that have been caught in commercial nets. They developembryos in a direct matter within the female brood pouch and emerge asjuveniles. Isopods are egg laying, but have no larval stages. The young are brooded in the female pouch. Some females can carryabout 20-30 eggs.
There are currently two Deep SeaIsopods the Fort Worth Zoo.
They are kept at an ice cold temperature and the fish tank is incredibly dark
as if to resemble life at the depthsof the ocean.
Wild deep sea isopods are sometimes accidental passengers on remote operated vehicles in undersea explorations. This animal was picked up from an ROV operating at a depth of 8500 feet off the western coast of Australia (Thanks to Trevor McCarthy for these very interesting photos.)
The isopods don't have much to do. They do not swim around like others in fish tanks. Most often theylook as if to be sleeping. Oh, what a life!
Invertebratesat the Fort Worth Zoo