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posted by martyb on Wednesday June 03 2020, @06:23AM   Printer-friendly
from the Oh-Shit! dept.

Taking a brief step back from the usual politics and hard tech...

A momentous event took place in Toba Aquarium on 26 May, when the keeper of the facility's five giant isopods discovered fecal matter in their tank. This would be the first time since April of 2018 that even a trace of poop had been found.

From the article, there were other, small interesting tidbits about the isopods who moved in seven years ago:

  • The fecal material contained digested food that wasn't served in the aquarium meaning it was eaten at least seven years ago
  • At least one of the isopods didn't eat for six years and lived

If there are any biologists, it would be interesting to hear your comments on these guys.

[#1 The linked story did not take a pass on bad puns. #2 (See what I did there?) Has a video of a Giant isopod eating the face off a shark. --Ed.]


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  • (Score: 2) by looorg on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:00PM (2 children)

    by looorg (578) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:00PM (#1002821)

    So does it save up for a giant seven-year poop or is it just that the digestive process is so slow and efficient that there isn't much in the form of waste? Is there some kind of special poop-storage cause if it was just something that gets pushed along the bowl one would imagine (and I really don't want to) that it sort of comes out more regularly then once or twice per decade.

    I recon it will be hard to do much science on it if there is only one or two poops per decade, unless they are monster sized. It will take a really long time if you want to gather enough data. Perhaps some kind of isopod laxative could help the scientific process along.

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  • (Score: 2) by ElizabethGreene on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:07PM (1 child)

    by ElizabethGreene (6748) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:07PM (#1002825)

    Insufficient data to answer. These are really cool critters that we know very little about and do not adapt well to captivity. We knew they could go a more than 5 years [dailymail.co.uk] without eating. Hopefully we can learn something from this about what they like to eat.

    • (Score: 2) by looorg on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:18PM

      by looorg (578) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:18PM (#1002838)

      I did look up what was available at Wikipedia etc and it seems that they mostly eat fish, dead whales and whatever else just happen to be in their part of the ocean when they eventually get hungry. So I guess they do know sort of what they eat in the wild. There just wasn't much mentioned about the pooping or digestive process except that it was slow.

      From an experimental point of view tho it should be fairly interesting if they only have to go so rarely since you can then perhaps control more of what goes in and what comes out so they know how it is processed.