On Valentine's Day in 2014, King Apodoptera "1" was pronounced dead at the Japanese Aquarium. At this time, it has been on a hunger strike for 5 years and 43 days, setting the world record for the longest animal hunger strike.
Its last meal was 50 grams of horse mackerel that was eaten on January 2, 2009, after which it will not eat or drink. The breeder has never been able to figure out why it doesn't eat, but it doesn't help to do everything. And it often pretends to move its mouth to eat, but it never swallows food.
"Hungry" made the king famous for its footpods, which caused widespread concern. As a result, people began to speculate about why it chose to go on a hunger strike, but so far there have been no exact results. To commemorate the warrior who died of hunger strike, the Japanese also introduced many perimeters of the king with feet, such as handles, pillows, and mobile phone cases.
Even more unexpectedly, this hunger strike has also brought fire to the local Japanese fried king pod foot business. Although the king's podworm looks a little scary, it is actually a strange food. It is said that the meat is like lobster and tastes great.
However, most of them on the dining table are the "copycat version" of the king-footed pods, another species of Dow's water lice. These two extremely similar creatures belong to isopods, a class of creatures that are changing our understanding of evolutionary processes.
The giant king footpod (Bathynomus giganteus), also known as "giant deep sea lice" and "giant isopod," is the largest isopod in the world. They appeared about 160 million years ago and have lived until now, but their appearance has hardly changed, so they are called "living fossils in the deep sea."
This ancient creature looks strange, like the cosmic creature in the movie "Alien". You see, it also has a special pair of compound eyes, which are made up of nearly 4,000 small flat eyes, located on both sides of the head.
It has two pairs of tentacles on its head and seven pairs of joint limbs on the abdomen. The scale's calcareous outer bones are special, and the upper part is integrated with the head, the lower part and the tail, just like a lavender shield.
Under normal circumstances, the main food of King pods is the carcasses of marine life. But there is also evidence that they are not pure scavengers, and occasionally catch them live to eat.
Although the food sources are very rich, if they do not agree, they will choose a long-term hunger strike. At the same time, the king podpod also has the habit of overeating. They can eat the carcasses of large animals all at once, and even affect exercise by eating too much. Maybe for them, whether to eat or not depends on the mood. Anyway, they can live for several years without eating.
French zoologist Minai Edward was the first person to portray this species. In 1879, he captured a male cub of a king podpod. The first appearance of this creature subverted the then deep-sea inanimate theory.
Since the king's footpod became famous, humans have discovered that it is of superior taste. However, it is difficult to catch the king podfoot because it usually lives in the deep and cold deep sea. Driven by interest, merchants often use relatively easy-to-catch Dow's water lice to fake it. Because these two creatures look so much like each other, and they are both members of the large family of isopods.
Isopods are a class of crustaceans with extremely high diversity and adaptability. In fact, this kind of creatures are very common in life, such as the watermelon bug we often caught when we were young, is one of them. The watermelon worm, also known as the tide worm, is the earliest animal classified as an isopod. But there have been some episodes in between.
At first, due to the similarity of the mosquito and diplo pods, scientists once classified the isopods as Myriopoda. May be accompanied by the discovery of aquatic knowledge such as feet, people gradually classify it as Crustacea (Crustacea).
Now scientists have discovered that there are more than 10,000 species of isopods in existence. They live in diverse environments, including marine, freshwater, terrestrial, extracorporeal and endoparasite species. Terrestrial isopods mainly live under wet rocks and dead leaves or in caves, such as common rat women, tide worms, etc .; freshwater isopods live in intermittent water bodies such as rivers, lakes, ditches, etc .; Animals are distributed on the coast, intertidal zone, Shanhu reef, deep sea, etc., such as the sea cockroaches (Ligia exotica) common in seashore rock seams, and various water lice often attached to algae or other floating objects in the shallow sea.
In addition to the large variety, the size and body shape of isopods are also quite different. For example, some parasitic gill lice are only a few millimeters, while king podpods can grow about tens of centimeters and weigh up to 1 kilogram;
However, the most interesting thing is that no matter how different their living habits are, they still have the same characteristic, that is, they have 7 pairs of 14 legs in total, and each pair looks the same in the shape of legs. This is why This is the reason for equal footing.
Various isopods in the ocean have 14 legs regardless of their shape.
Theoretically, the close relatives of the Isopoda are crustacean decapods to which shrimp and crab belong. However, we often mistake the tideworm as an insect. This is because the tideworm's head section only heals with the first thoracic section, and the remaining seven thoracic sections are independent of each other. Such segmented bodies make them look very different from lobster looks.
Because crabs, shrimps, and crustaceans live in water, it is difficult to think of tideworms as crustaceans.
Footpods are the only crustaceans fully adapted to terrestrial life. Like other isopods that live in water, they have gills for breathing. For this reason, they also evolved some unusual physical functions. Take watermelon worms as an example. They usually appear in humid and dark places, where they can roll into balls to protect any moisture on the gills.
In addition, they not only do not urinate, do not discharge wastes with high ammonia content in the body, they also eat feces, including their own feces. When drinking water, they stick out of the tubular structure from the back, not from the mouth.
As for when the isopods successfully landed, there has been controversy. Some people have inferred from their evolutionary relationship that the ancestors of the subfamily Tetrapoda were differentiated between the Carboniferous and Permian. Others discovered the earliest tideworm fossils in mid-Cretaceous amber. But what is clear is that two waves of landfall have been set off by vertebrates in the presence of tide worms, and various animals on land are launching fierce killings.
Compared with other animals, terrestrial animals such as feet have almost no survival advantage. However, they actually stand on their heels, spreading around every corner of the world. After them, no new crustacean group landed successfully.
In recent years, scientists have discovered that land animals such as terrestrial animals can even survive in the aquatic environment, and this discovery is changing our view of evolution. This seems to tell humans that the evolution of species is not just a "one-way street", that species can also evolve the ability to survive in a long-forgotten environment.
In 2012, astronauts from the European Space Agency (ESA) CAVES underground training program were sent to a cave in Sardinia, Italy, and trained for a week in a simulated space environment. Research on cataloging and other projects.
They place bait near the pond and elsewhere to attract and find as many creatures as possible. In order to achieve better results, Paul Marcia, who designed the biological sampling scheme, used animal livers and rotting cheese to prepare a stinking bait. This special "dish" can attract underground creatures in a short time. As a result, they found a special terrestrial isopod in a small pond.
This species has completed the evolution cycle from primitive aquatic organisms to terrestrial organisms and then back to aquatic organisms. This discovery will change people's understanding of biological evolution, and scientists are currently conducting in-depth research.
However, humans rarely think about eating animals such as terrestrials such as tideworms.
Compared with the king podpod and its "cottage version" that were initially put on the table, this may be a great wisdom of the isopoda that dares to land.