Wednesday 16 January 2013

Giant Ostracod


Look at that Ostracod! It's HUGE! It's GIANT! COLOSSAL! Of exceedingly great size and it's looking right at you!

We know all about Ostracods! They were those crustaceans who live within a hinged shell, a bit like a clam. Inside was little more than a head, gonads and maybe some eggs. The shell could be opened just enough for antennae and a few legs to poke out so they could swim, catch food or walk around on the sediment.

Thing is, they were all teeny-tiny! Really, really itsy-bitsy. Like, barely there at all. Small. You know?

The six species of the genus Gigantocypris on the other hand can get to some 3 cm (1.2 in) long! Their eyes are bigger than most other Ostracods!

If pigs could fly, they'd look like this

Those eyes are actually parabolic mirrors, like shiny satellite dishes or how they light the Olympic Flame with the sun but without needing a spaceship. Which is good because I don't think a spaceship would fit with the togas, temple ruins and general ambiance they're going for.

Living at lightless depths of 900 to 1,300 m (3,000–4,300 ft), those fancy eyes are used to spot the bioluminescence of prey like Copepods and small fish. And it all goes into a stomach which is probably significantly bigger than the entire body of other Ostracods! I wonder if their eyes are literally bigger than their belly?


TexWisGirl said...

looks like you sliced open a cherry tomato. :)

Joseph JG said...

Haha! Yeh! I'm glad tomatoes don't have a whole array of eyes looking back at you!