Isopod species Bathynomus yucatanensis: About 26 centimeters long
Photo: Dr Ming-Chih Huang / Journal of Natural History / dpa
Around 26 centimeters long and thus around 25 times larger than an ordinary woodlice: researchers have identified a new giant isopod species in the Gulf of Mexico.
Bathynomus yucatanensis is the technical name, writes the team in the journal »Journal of Natural History«.
The species with the mottled and yellow-colored top was discovered at a depth of 600 to 800 meters off the Yucatán Peninsula.
Researchers originally thought it was a variant of the giant isopod Bathynomus giganteus.
But closer examination of an animal caught in a baited trap in 2017 revealed a number of unique characteristics, according to the team led by Ming-Chih Huang from the National University of Tainan in Taiwan.
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respiration via gills
The new species brings the total number of known Bathynomus species in the Gulf of Mexico to three.
According to the information, the appearance of the species is very similar.
About 20 currently existing species of Bathynomus are known worldwide, living in deep oceans and breathing through gills.
These woodlice belong to the same group of animals as the woodlice.
The largest of the sea creatures can be around 50 centimeters long.
Like woodlice, they are completely harmless to humans.