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Supergiant ‘Sea Cockroach’ with 14 legs found in the Indian Ocean

The newly discovered cockroach has been identified as belonging to a new species and is given the name ‘Bathynomus raksasa’.

Jul 21, 2020 10:54 IST
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A giant  'sea cockroach’ has been found by the researchers from Singapore at the bottom of the Indian Ocean. The creature was found during a marine survey that was conducted by Peter Ng of the National University of Singapore.

The newly discovered cockroach has been identified as belonging to a new species and is given the name ‘Bathynomus raksasa’.

In the 14 day expedition to the deep sea off the coast of West Java in Indonesia by the University of Singapore, the team has collected over 12,000 deep-sea creatures out of which the gigantic cockroach was one.

About the giant ‘Sea Cockroach’

•   The giant Bathynomus is a deep-sea crustacean that is able to grow up to 20 inches (50 cm) in size. This makes it the second-largest isopod species that has been known to science.

•   Even though they have been nicknamed cockroaches of the sea, the 14 legged creatures are more closely related to other marine species such as shrimps and crabs.

•   The newly discovered animal lives on the ocean bed and survives by scavenging for the remains of other dead marine animals.

•   These creatures are also capable of going long periods of time without any food.

What is the significance of this new discovery?

As per Cahyo Rahmadi of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, the discovery of the new species has been especially significant in terms of the size and the ecosystem where it was found by the researchers.

Isopods are able to grow up to 50 cm and have been classified as ‘supergiants’. There are currently 20 species of giant isopods, which also includes the newly discovered one. During this expedition, researchers have also discovered 12 other new species.  

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