'Supergiant' Crustaceans Found Near New Zealand

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("Supergiant" Crustacean; Credit for all images: Oceanlab, University of Aberdeen, UK)

"Supergiant" amphipods measuring over 13 inches long have just been found in waters north of New Zealand, according to a University of Aberdeen press release.

These enormous shrimp-resembling shellfish are some of the most enigmatic creatures in seas worldwide. These latest finds near New Zealand were discovered nearly 23,000 feet below the water's surface in one of the deepest places in the ocean.

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The shrimp-like creatures dwarf other similar big ocean species. Typically, deep sea amphipods measure about 1 inch in length. Some found in Antarctica waters are about 4 inches long, which is still impressive. But 13 inches is almost too big to believe.

(Alan Jamieson with one of the supergiant amphipods)

The discovery was made during a joint UK and New Zealand expedition to the Kermadec Trench, north of New Zealand, led by scientists from the University of Aberdeen and National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA). Also aboard NIWA’s research vessel Kaharoa were researchers from the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and Whitman College, in America.

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