Monday, February 13, 2012

Really Big Amphipod: 11 Inches Long

"Terrifying giant crustaceans found in deep sea"
Andrea Mustain, LiveScience, via FoxNews.com (February 3, 2012)

"Scientists on an expedition to sample a deep-sea trench got a surprise when their traps brought back seven giant crustaceans glimpsed only a handful of times in human history.

"The 'supergiant' amphipods are more than 20 times larger than their typical crustacean relatives, which are generally less than a half-inch (1 centimeter) long, and thrive in lakes and oceans around the world. They are sometimes called the 'insects of the sea.'

" 'We pulled up the trap, and lying among the fish were these absolutely massive amphipods, and there was no inkling whatsoever that these things should be there,' said Alan Jamieson, a lecturer at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, and leader of the expedition that turned up the fantastical creatures in November 2011...."


(From Oceanlab, via FoxNews, used w/o permission.)
"An elusive supergiant amphipod, recently plucked from the deep sea. (Oceanlab, University of Aberdeen, UK)"

Oh, wow. That's a big bug. Critter. Amphipod.

It's big, for something with an exoskeleton. Even back in the good old days, when some dragonflies had a two-foot wingspan, that's not small.

Things like this were first discovered in 1899, the article says. That's when someone wrote about them, anyway. They haven't been seen much since: no great surprise, considering where these critters live.

Wow: that's a big critter.

Not-entirely-unrelated posts:

2 comments:

Brigid said...

Is it just me, or are its legs bent backward?

That's a big... shrimp?

Brian Gill said...

Brigid,

It does look like that - and those critters are, I think, roughly the same sort that shrimp are. Not so small, though.

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