The Giant Isopod Crustacean (Bathynomus giganteus) is a deep-sea aquatic saltwater crustacean. It is related to the shrimp and the crab.
The Giant Isopod Crustacean is a decapod with 10 legs. It looks like a woodlouse because it has a hard exo-skeleton with overlapping segments. It can curl up into a ball. It has large compound eyes. It is pinkish or pale-lilac in colour.
It grows to about 8-15 centimetres (3-6 inches) long. It does not seem giant sized, but it is much larger than most deep-sea isopods which grow to about 2 centimetres (half an inch) long. The Super Giant Isopod Crustacean grows to about 17-50 centimetres (7-20 inches) long.
It prefers cold, deep ocean waters in the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. It is benthic because it lives on the bottom of the ocean.
The female has a pouch, called a marsupium, where her eggs are stored until the young are ready to hatch. The young are called manca and look like small adult isopods.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
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