Students checking out the giant BathynomusThe Island School’s youngest students have been able to get up close and personal with some deep sea creatures over the past couple of weeks without even setting foot in the water.  Thanks to the Shark Research and Conservation Program’s deep water team at CEI and special guest researcher, 10 year-old Forrest Schmitt, the children have been getting lessons in deep water isopods.  They learned facts about the super-giant isopod, Bathynomus giganteus, including that they live at depths exceeding 900m and that the largest one ever recorded had a total length of ~500mm.

_Y1A9076The children were intrigued and inquisitive, asking many questions about the “bugs” and studying their morphology closely.  They did observational drawings of the creatures that were displayed at the Parent’s Weekend Art Show.  The only thing that the 3-6 year olds could not decide is whether the creatures 14 legs would cause it to “run very fast” or move “slow, slow, slow because they have to move so many legs”.   They may just have to wait for footage from the team’s infamous deep-sea camera unit, the ‘MEDUSA,’ to find out.