Antarctic Glyptonotus

The Antarctic Glyptonotus (Glyptonotus antarcticus) is a giant marine (saltwater) isopod crustacean. A crustacean includes crabs, shrimps, and lobsters. 

The Antarctic Glyptonotus has a disc-shaped body with small outgrowths of hairs and knobbly scales. It has two pairs of compound eyes; one pair of eyes on its back and a smaller pair of eyes on its side. It has three pairs of front claws and eight legs.

It swims upside down. 

It can grow to about 9 centimetres (3.5 inches) long. It does not sound like a giant size, but it is for an isopod. Isopods are usually less than 1.5 centimetres (half an inch) long.

Antarctic Glyptonotus

The Antarctic Glyptonotus is native to the cold coastal waters of Antarctica, and around the South Shetland Islands. It lives on the sea bed, and therefore it is a benthic aquatic animal.  

It is a carnivorous crustacean and a scavenger, eating a mixed diet of minute aquatic animals and vegetation. 

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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