Giant (deep sea) isopods are so strange and otherworldly they are actually cute! They inhabit a portion of the Earth that is less explored than the moon – the deep sea – so they might as well be aliens; they certainly look the part.
Giant isopods play an important role in deep sea ecology by scavenging on the carcasses of whales and other dead fall from above. These strange creatures are found from depths where sunlight barely reaches (continental shelf) to the deep sea zones, where they search for food in total darkness.
Temperatures are low, the water pressure is intense and only animals especially suited for these adverse conditions will survive. Food is scarce so most deep sea animals are adapted to take advantage of any prey they may stumble across or to lure in others searching for a meal. And when they find prey they gorge, never knowing when their next meal may come. Giant isopods use very long antennae and huge eyes to locate food and when they find it they are known to feast until they can’t eat any more and then not eat again for months.
The staff is very excited to care for them and even more excited for our guests to see them. Please come by the museum to see these interesting creatures up close and personal in our World of Darkness gallery.