• Giant "woodlice"
Giant isopods - woodlice isopods resembling that can reach 76 cm in length.
The waters of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans live like woodlice large creatures - giant isopods. These shellfish have been detected in the medium at the bottom of 170 to 2140 meters depth where high pressures and very low temperature (about 4 ° C).
It is interesting that, according to many scientists, giant isopods lived over 160 million years ago, even before the supercontinent of Pangea split.
Giant isopods or cephalopods crabs (lat. Bathynomus giganteus) belong to the genus Bathynomus, which emit 9 species to date. All of them are found in different parts of the Atlantic Ocean at a depth of 170 to 2, 5 thousand meters. However, most of these creatures lives at between 360 and 750 meters depth.
isopods in appearance most resemble woodlice. Only the dimensions have slightly more - they can grow up to half a meter, and the largest weighed fished instance 1, 7 kg with a length of 76 cm These marine animals are an excellent example of deep-sea gigantism..
They are close relatives in shallow water or land, on average reach a length of 1 to 5 centimeters.
In fact, for the isopods woodlice and took back in 1879, when the French zoologist Alphonse Milne-Edwards, first described them. Young male caught then from the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. The discovery of this species in the late 19th century, completely refuted the popular then the idea of lifeless ocean depths.
Today it seems strange to think that at the bottom of the sea no one lives, as whale carcasses get there, big sharks and other animals after natural death. Should someone has to take care of the purity of the ocean! Here giant isopods and we have taken on this not very honorable, honest role. Besides falling, they feed on sea cucumbers, sponges and other prey that does not move too fast.
And because food on the ocean bottom is not too much and find it quite difficult to darkness, isopods time it is necessary to fast from time to time.
It has been established that one such cancer is able to go without food as much as 8 weeks. But when a carnivore is quite large prey, it eats already, as they say, from the belly.
However, the belly, as such, they find difficult, because their whole body hidden under a tough, lime, external skeleton.
In the case of danger, they can curl up in the "ball" than currently provide protection from enemies. The shell consists of several segments, the first of which is fused to the head. The lower segments form a semblance tail shield disposed over the truncated abdomen.
The eyes of the giant isopods matched to their owners - large, complex, consisting of 4 thousand faces. They are located at a distance relative to each other and provide cancers frontal vision. Also in the arsenal of these creatures have two pairs of antennae and seven pairs of legs. The first pair of pincers designed for offerings of food to the four pairs of jaws. The abdomen is composed of five segments.
As can be seen, it looks at the isopods very peculiar. In adult females plus everything else, there are so-called brood pouches, which fertilized eggs develop. By the way, these eggs are considered to be among the largest of all marine invertebrates. Naturally, such a delicacy in need of protection from hungry sea creatures. Here is a female and has all his eggs in with a brood pouch until they develop from small izopodiki. Unfortunately, the exact time of this process is unknown. But we know that they do not go outside the larvae, but a fully-formed young isopods crayfish.