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Massive New Deep-Sea Isopod Discovered in the Gulf of Mexico – 2,500% Larger Than Common Woodlice - SciTechDaily

Massive New Deep-Sea Isopod Discovered in the Gulf of Mexico – 2,500% Larger Than Common Woodlice - SciTechDaily

Massive New Deep-Sea Isopod Discovered in the Gulf of Mexico – 2,500% Larger Than Common Woodlice - SciTechDaily
Aug 11, 2022 1 min, 21 secs

Scientists have identified a new species of Bathonymus, the famed genera of deep-sea isopods whose viral internet fame has made them the most famous aquatic crustaceans since Sebastian of The Little Mermaid.

There are around 20 species of living Bathonymus, a mysterious and primitive group that inhabits the benthic zone of the ocean—its deepest reaches, rarely explored in person.

yucatanensis adds another addition to the isopod pantheon and brings the total of known species of Bathonymus in the Gulf of Mexico to three—B.

The two species have the same number of pleotelson spines.

“Bathynomus giganteus was discovered over a century ago, and more than 1,000 specimens have been studied with no suggestion until now of a second species with the same number of pleotelsonic spines,” they add.

giganteus is indeed the species closest to B.

“This indicates that the two species likely had a common ancestor.

“It is increasingly evident that species of Bathynomus may be exceedingly similar in overall appearance, and also that there is a long history of misidentification of species in the genus,” the authors caution.

“Some species of Bathynomus with commercial potential have become the targets of deep-sea trawl fisheries,” they say.  While giant isopods are only sporadically exploited, “for the management of Bathynomus fisheries, it is important to know precisely which species are being caught.”.

Reference: “A new species of Bathynomus Milne-Edwards, 1879 (Isopoda: Cirolanidae) from the southern Gulf of Mexico with a redescription of Bathynomus jamesi Kou, Chen and Li, 2017 from off Pratas Island, Taiwan” by Ming-Chih Huang, Tadashi Kawai and Niel L.

Bruce, 9 August 2022, Journal of Natural History.

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