Isopod is the common name referring to an animal who belongs to the group Isopoda.

Isopods are a diverse group of organisms within the Crustacean phylum. Their name literally means “same-footed,” and this name derives from the fact that their feet are quite similar to each other’s.

There is no way to give an exact description of what the average Isopod looks like as they span such a wide span of body shapes and living habits. They range from scavenger to parasite, from flat to round, from high altitudes to the abyssal plains, to the very large (Bathynomus) to the microscopic (Sea-mites); however, despite all of their differences they all belong to the same group, and therefore share some very general characteristics.

Firstly, Isopods have seven sets of legs. Each set corresponds to once segment of the thorax. They also have six segments in their abdomen, and a tail segment. In addition isopods are known for the fact they have only one pair of Uropods as well as sessile eyes. In addition an isopod’s first set of thorax legs are not clawed alike many other crustaceans.

Isopods have varied methods of reproduction. Generally, a female isopod will lie on the back of a male isopod for an extended period before sex takes place. This isopod foreplay lasts for a different amount of time depending on the species. After the foreplay has concluded the male will deposit his sperm in the female’s genital duct. Depending on the species, the eggs will then be hatched internally and released, or hatched externally. When the baby isopods are born, they nearly resemble adults. The difference is the lack of the seventh segment of the thorax. Some isopods care for their young after their birth; however, that is generally the exception and not the rule.


Isopods are very common and are found nearly everywhere on Earth. Here is a list of some more common examples:


I"so*pod (?), a. Zool.

Having the legs similar in structure; belonging to the Isopoda.

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n.

One of the Isopoda.

 

© Webster 1913.

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