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Newly Discovered Supergiant ‘Sea Cockroach’ Found In Indonesian Waters

Photo: @ikcnhm

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Newly Discovered Supergiant ‘Sea Cockroach’ Found In Indonesian Waters

The team expects to finally publish their findings in 2020.

A group of 31 researchers and support staff who went for a 14-day expedition to survey the uncharted deep sea off the southern coast of West Java in Indonesia in 2018 have made an interesting discovery.

The expedition was led by the Head of Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum of the National University of Singapore, Peter Ng.

The team collected more than 12,000 creatures from 63 survey sites at an average depth of 800m, with the deepest at 2,100m.

About 800 species were uncovered, including sponges, jellyfish, starfish, urchins, worms, crabs, and fish.

12 new species were also identified from this survey.

Two years on, the team has confirmed that another new species has been identified from the expedition.

Yes, it is this cockroach-looking critter.

 

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This supergiant isopod is now bestowed with the scientific name Bathynomus raksasa:

Giant isopods are usually found in the deep waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. They can grow up to an average size of 33cm.

Those that can grow up to 50cm are classified as “supergiants“.

These deep-sea giant isopods are scavengers that feed on dead marine creatures.

However, food can be scarce in deep waters, so they might be able to survive without food for years, according to Miranda Lowe, the Principal Curator of Crustacea at London’s Natural History Museum.

As the deep seas remain rather inaccessible and require expensive equipment for surveys, much about these creatures remains unknown.

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