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Japan’s Giant Isopod Has Not Eaten For Over 4 Years

Update Date: Feb 27, 2013 03:47 PM EST
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Japan's famous giant isopod, known simply has No.1 has not taken another bite of food since Jan. 2 2009 in which he chowed down a meal of horse mackerel within just five minutes. Although the creature that resides in Japan's Toba Aquarium appears to be healthy despite the lack of nutrition, the aquarium keepers are still worried claiming that No.1 has displayed a weakened state.

The keepers have tried to lure the giant isopod to consume food by offering it more enticing meals, such as squid tentacles. However, the isopod has yet to bite down on these offers. Although little is known about these crustaceans, marine biologists know that they mainly feast on dead fish and can go into hibernation for an extended period of time in which the body is not starving, but rather conserving energy.

"Giant isopods are always in a state of semihibernation because they do not know when they can eat, so they limit their energy on breathing and other activities," states a marine biologist from Mie University in Japan. "For that purpose they sometimes keep large amount of fat in their livers, so may No.1 still has a source of energy in its body, and that's why it still has no appetite."

No.1 currently lives in artificial seawater without the presence of plankton, algae, or other organic substances. Whether or not the giant creature is simply full from his last meal remains unanswered. But, the anticipation for his next meal to occur will surely grow as Feb. 10 2013 marked the 1500-day since its last meal.

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