A new species of deep-sea crustacean was discovered in the Bahamas – it is an ancient isopod with giant eyes and a transparent body.
Scientists found the creature at a depth of 540 to 560 meters using LED lights and sticks. The find was described in the journal Zootaxa, Live Science reports.
Although the species, which they named Booralana nickorum, was discovered recently, it has been on the planet for 300 million years.
The new species has a hard exoskeleton, a segmented body, and large compound eyes for searching for potential prey.
|Photo: Courtesy of OceanX
Since B. nickorum lives at depth, where there is very little light, it does not need pigmentation.
“You can see his insides”– said research co-author Nicholas Higgs.
At 55 to 76 millimeters in length, this crustacean is much larger than its land relatives from the woodlice suborder, which usually grow up to 14 millimeters.
The large size gives the deep-sea creature an advantage as it waits on the sea floor for food to drop from above.
“The bigger you are, the more you can get in one meal.” – adds Higgs.
Scientists say the transparent crustacean can play a critical role in maintaining the health of the underwater ecosystem.
In particular, it accelerates the decomposition of plant and animal remains, and also helps carbon to remain in the ocean depths for thousands of years.
We will remind you that a new species of snake was discovered earlier in Peru and named after Harrison Ford.
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