The researchers collected specimens of the newly identified species off Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. By comparing the massive crustaceans to others collected around Taiwan and Hong Kong, they were able to identify distinguishing characteristics, like its creamy yellow color and more slender body proportions.
DNA analysis also showed that the bathynomus yucatanensis is distinct from its close relatives. But because the different species are fairly similar, the scientists acknowledged that “there is a long history of misidentification of species in the genus.”
And there may be more huge isopods to come: the researchers noted that there may be more undiscovered species in the Atlantic Ocean.