Giant isopod on four-year 'hunger strike'

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A Giant Bathynomus isopod at an aquarium in Japan has refused to eat anything for four years.

The Toba Aquarium has two of the huge deep sea crustaceans, which in the wild play an important role as scavengers, cleaning up whatever comes to rest at the bottom of the sea, including whale carcasses and fish.

One of the isopods has a healthy appetite, but the other hasn't eaten anything since January 2009.

Staff at the aquarium say that the 30cm/12" isopod 'pretends to eat', poking at the food with its front legs and rubbing its face in it, but then walks away and ignores it, as you can see in the video below:

Staff have tried to recreate the optimum temperature for the isopods to feed and breed, but the behaviour of this one continues to frustrate them.

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