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The giant isopod, known scientifically as Bathynomus giganteus, is the largest known member of the isopod family. It is very closely related to the small pillbugs that you can find in the garden. It is a carnivorous crustacean that spends its time scavenging the deep ocean floor. Food is extremely scarce at these great depths, so the isopod has adapted to eat what ever happens to fall to the ocean floor from above. It will also feed on some of the small invertebrates that live at these depths. Giant isopods are known to reach a size of over 16 inches in length and are one of the largest members of the crustacean family. These animals are very prehistoric in appearance. When threatened, the can roll themselves into a tight ball where they are protected by their strong, armor-plated shells. They have complex mouths that contain many components that work together to pierce, shred, and disembowel live or dead prey. Giant isopods are all over the world at depths of over 2000 feet.
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