The Giant Isopod (Bathynomus giganteus) is a deep-sea crustacean that appears only in Endless Ocean 2.
It is the largest species of isopod, hence the common name. It is an excellent example of a phenomenon called "deep-sea gigantism", in which animals that live deep in the ocean become much larger than their shallow-water or terrestrial counterparts.
"These alien-looking creatures live deep down on the seabed where they gather around the carcasses of whales and fish and strip them of meat until only the bones remain.
If you're interested, you should turn one over to see another sight that will stay with you for a while.
A lot of people might feel unsettled at the sight of these creatures, but there are more than a few who find them fascinating precisely because of their appearance.
There is at least one young woman in Pelago who would not hesitate to say how cute she finds them, namely Oceana..."
A small group of these crawl around the seafloor in the northernmost of the Twin Caves. They like being offered food.
- This is one of Oceana's favorite creatures
- A larger Isopod nicknamed Grave Keeper is also found in the depths of the Zahhab Region.
- The in-game description reports that giant isopods have a fondness for the bodies of whales and other animals that drift down from the shallows, and this is true. Stomach contents, observation, and other evidence all show a strong scavenging tendency. Remarkably, giant isopods can store energy so well that they may go for months or even years between meals.
- This scavenging habit has led scientists to utilize giant isopods for help in preparing bones for display by allowing the creatures to clean the skeleton, often a whale skeleton, of any flesh.
- The giant isopod is a deep-water relative of the bug commonly called the pillbug or roly-poly, Armadillidium vulgare. However, in contrast to the small size of such, the giant isopod is the largest species of isopod. This large size is the result of something called "deep-sea gigantism", which is the tendency of deepwater animals to be much larger than similar species in shallow water or on land.
- While scientists aren't 100% sure what causes deep-sea gigantism, some hypotheses are that larger bodies can better withstand famine, or can more easily cover large distances in search of food. Other suggestions include high pressure and low temperature playing a part.
- Other examples of deep-sea gigantism include species that appear in the Endless Ocean series, like the oarfish and giant squid.
- Deep-sea gigantism is also called abyssal gigantism.
- Due to their deep-sea habitat, giant isopods cannot be exposed to sunlight without their eyes becoming irreversibly damaged. This might be part of the reason why giant isopods that are accidentally captured have a low survival rate after being released.
- Giant isopods are sometimes mistakenly pulled up by anglers because they cling to trawl nets in pursuit of the fish within.
- Natural History Museum
- Popular Mechanics
- Sea Life Base
- "Seasonal reproduction and feeding ecology of giant isopods Bathynomus giganteus from the continental slope of the Yucatán peninsula"; Cecilia Barradas-Ortiz, Patricia Briones-Fourzán, and Enrique Lozano-Álvarez
- The Living Planet Aquarium
- National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA)
- Aquarium of the Pacific
- Deep Sea News
- "Aspects of the Biology of the Giant Isopod Bathynomus giganteus A. Milne Edwards, 1879 (Flabellifera: Cirolanidae), off the Yucatan Peninsula"; Patricia Briones-Fourzán and Enrique Lozano-Alvarez
- Sea and Sky
- JSTOR Daily
- World Atlas (Deep-Sea Gigantism)
- Ripley's Believe It Or Not (Deep-Sea Gigantism)
- Paul H. Yancey, Whitman College (Deep-Sea Gigantism)
- "Morphology of the compound eye of the giant deep-sea isopod Bathynomus giganteus"; S. C. Chamberlain, V. B. Meyer-Rochow, and W. P. Dossert
- "An assessment of post-release mortality for a commonly discarded deep-sea isopod (Bathynomus giganteus) using reflex impairment"; Brendan Talwar, Edward J. Brooks, and R. Dean Grubbs