Hagfish nom-nommers, Trample-gramming, boring clams, I’m still in love with these giant isopods, and more! Monday Morning Salvage: April 8, 2019.

Foghorn (A Call to Action!)

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

A wood-boring clam inside a piece of wood
Photo: Jenna Judge
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We love giant isopods and America should love them too!

14884452_10101639425674614_3310426167506511986_oSouthern Fried Science loves giant isopods. There are few deep-sea animals more iconic, more charismatic, more weird and wonderful, than the deep-sea isopod. The biggest of the deep-sea isopods, the giant deep-sea isopod, Bathynomus giganteus, is a quintessentially American beast. It dwells in the deep Gulf of Mexico. The bulk of its known range falls within the United States Exclusive Economic Zone. It was first collected by American scientist Alexander Agassiz (though it was formally described by his colleague and collaborator French zoologist Alphonse Milne-Edwards). Tough on the outside, soft on the inside, fiercely independent yet able to work in massive aggregations to consume the bloated carcass of a whale, alternately terrifying and adorable, I can think of no better animal to represent the deep water of the United States better than our own Bathynomous giganteus.

So today, with an historic election looming, we decided it was past time to reflect on the things we love, the things that unite us, the things that fill us with wonder, and call upon Congress to officially adopt the giant deep-sea isopod as the National Deep-sea Animal of the United States. Read More