Critter Science

The Science of Critters

Giant isopod

Giant isopod

Whoever named the giant isopod didn’t expend too much energy coming up with that name. In short, it’s a giant isopod, a big giant crustacean that crawls around in

the depths of the Atlantic and Indian oceans.

French zoologist Alphonse Milne-Edwards was the first to describe the genus in 1879 after his colleague Alexander Agassiz collected a juvenile male B. giganteus from the Gulf of Mexico; this was an exciting discovery for both scientists and the public, as at the time the idea of a lifeless or “azoic” deep ocean had only recently been refuted by the work of Sir Charles Wyville Thomson and others. No females were recovered until 1891.

Giant IsopodGiant isopods are of little interest to most commercial fisheries owing to the typical scarcity of catches and because ensnared isopods are usually scavenged beyond marketability before they are recovered. The species are noted for resemblance to the common woodlouse or pill bug, to which they are related. The few specimens caught in the Americas and Japan with baited traps are sometimes seen in public aquariums.

Critter Man

With over 41 years of critter experience to my credit and hundreds of zoology teaching hours to people around the world, I have amassed not only a continuing thirst for critter knowledge but a desire to teach others all I can about the majesty and wonder of our natural world. Critter Science is a culmination of such knowledge. I have hands on as well as book acquired intel on all animals. Whether they be land, sea, or air. Let be said that I have been oft times accused of loving animals more than I love people. I can neither confirm nor deny this.

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