Scientists find Giant Sea Cockroaches in the Eastern Indian Ocean.

19 July 2020.

Giant Cockroaches!


Researchers from Singapore  have discovered a “Super Giant Isopod” species, a cockroach. This happened  when they explored waters of the Indian Ocean in Bantan, southern coast of West Java in Indonesia. The new species has been named Bathynomus raksasa.”

About Bathynomus raksasa:

  • Bathynomus raksasa is a giant isopod in the genus Bathynomus. In general, the giant isopods are distantly related to crabs, lobsters, and shrimps (which belong to the order of decapods)
  • The species is found in the cold depths of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans.
  • The sea cockroach has 14 legs but uses these only to crawl. It is about 50 centimetres (1.6 feet) in length.
  • The Darth Vader appearance is because of the shape of the cockroach’s head and compound eyes.
  • Isopods that are in 50 cm length are referred to as Supergiants.
  • Bathynomus raksasa  are scavengers  and eat the remains of dead marine animals, such as whales and fish, but can also go for long periods without food, a trait that it shares with the cockroach.
  • The scientists reported their findings on July 8 in the peer-reviewed, open-access biodiversity research journal ‘ZooKeys’

        About the Discovery:

  • A group of 31 researchers from National Universtiy of Singapore conducted the project.
  •  During the research 12,000 deep-sea creatures comprising 800 species were collected.
  • 12 species new species are not recorded in the scientific literature have also been found.
  •  The newly discovered creatures included crabs, jellyfish, fish, molluscs, prawns, sponges, starfish, urchins, and worms.

Significance of the discovery:

  • Till now, the scientific community knew of five supergiant species, two of which are found in the western Atlantic. This is the first record of the genus from Indonesia.
  • “Bathynomus raksasa is the sixth ‘supergiant’ species from the Indo-West Pacific, and is one of the largest known members of the genus.
  • The discovery takes the number of known giant isopods to 20. 
  • Study of  Bathynomus raksasa  may reveal its role in the marine ecosystem and contribute towards increasing knowledge about the deep sea.

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