While we're talking about isopods I just gotta say while my cubaris rubber duckie colony broke my heart, the cubaris blonde duckies really took off for me which was wild because when I bought this colony it had just collapsed and only two individuals were left and now there's I think over a dozen.
What I want to know is why this single goofy viral photo was how I first learned there were giant deep sea isopods in only around 2000 or 2001. I had already spent my life obsessed with both arthropods and the deep ocean. I had tons of books on both subjects, from kid’s books to big heavy science books, and I’d consumed every single documentary ever made on either subject.
None of them ever once mentioned the existence of these pretty obviously remarkable animals, which were known to science since at least the late 1800′s.
This has never stopped being astonishing to me. You can’t really find much discussion of them on the internet any older than this photo going around 20 years ago. Articles from around that period sometimes mistakenly believe they were a brand new discovery. I’ve still never found them in a book or a video made prior to that period, though I heard someone say they recall seeing them in a magazine from maybe the mid-90′s. What was going on? How does all of society just “sleep” on the existence of an entire kind of large and distinct animal, so hard that its existence could have ever been inaccessible information to the general public? For any length of time???! Any theories on this @mbari-blog ?
It makes me sad, because my whole childhood went by never knowing about what would have definitely been one of that child’s top favorite animals.
I still remember the aquarium staff actually surprised that people wanted to see a giant worm, and it makes me wonder if there were really just generations worth of people who knew about giant isopods and never mentioned it outside a few dry academic reports because they thought the rest of the world would only see them as drab, icky bugs. Combine this attitude with the number of creatures discovered just once or twice, some of them still lying unnamed in museum collections, and it drives me up the wall wondering what other living things might have been totally overlooked and forgotten strictly because nobody thought the world would care.
Malva's family runs a ranch in the agricultural district on the Ploonet, as a result she grew up learning how to care for the various Peracaridas they raise. She absolutely cherishes them all, constantly talking about how wonderful they are to all her fellow classmates ...
An alien horse girl type if you will, except with large skittering isopods instead
Isopods are closely related to crabs and shrimp. There are around 20 different species of giant isopods, and they’re a great example of deep-sea gigantism. This is when animals that live in the deep sea are much larger than their relatives that live in more shallow areas. Marine Isopods in general range from less than 1mm (0.04 in) to the size of this Isopod which is 365mm (14.37 in).