When one of their underwater camera systems stopped working, scientists at Cape Eleuthera investigated and found ‘teeth marks’ in the cables.
Edd Brooks of the Bahamas Cape Eleuthera Institute took a closer look at the cables and found that the teeth marks looked like a huge crustacean had gnawed on them. Specifically, Brooks said it appeared to be the work of a woodlouse whose scientific name is the Bathynomus giganteus.
‘There’s nothing else with mandibles that sharp,’ says Brooks. ‘It was a Bathynomus attack.’
The beast normally lives 8,500ft under water and is a super-sized cousin of the humble woodlouse, typically growing more than a foot long.
Its legs are arranged in seven pairs, and its front two are able to manipulate and bring food to its four sets of jaws.
It is a scavenger that feeds on dead whales, fish and shrimp.