Meet the giant isopod

Photo 1 Giant Isopod Creep into the Deep 599 x 480Hello Virtual Science Team Members and friends,

This is a giant isopod, a deep-sea scavenger about the size of a small dog. Does it look familiar? It might. Perhaps you’ve seen one in your backyard. Well, not as big as this, but a much, much, much smaller version. It’s a distant relative of the giant isopod. You might call it a roly-poly or a pill bug. it eats rotting fish or animal carcasses it finds on the ocean floor. Yum!

Not only is the giant isopod a delightful critter with an unusual diet, it has fascinating eyes.  Our Creep into the Deep Science Team is studying both bioluminescence and vision in the deep. The science team wants to learn more about these incredible creatures and how they survive in the darkest deepest parts of the sea. They suspect that the giant isopod’s slow compound eyes help it see the dim mats of bioluminescent bacteria that dust the ocean floor.  We can’t wait to learn more, too!

The Oregon Coast Aquarium’s Oceanscape Network created a fun video for you. Enjoy!

Jake, the SeaDog 

Video courtesy of the Oregon Coast Aquarium’s Oceanscape Network

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