What’s related to a shrimp or a garden sowbug, and carries its babies on its antennae? An Arctic isopod (Arcturus baffini) – see photo above.
Every month, we will be featuring an animal (or plant!) that’s especially cool or unique, but sometimes overlooked by our visitors. These animals are picked by the staff and volunteers who work here.
Senior aquarium biologist, John Fisher (left), gets the first “Staff Pick of the Month”. He has visited the Arctic numerous times.
He picked the Arctic isopod (Arcturus baffini) because it’s a fascinating animal, but often missed unless he happens to point it out to a visitor. As John says, “they are from the Arctic and very few aquariums display Arctic animals, (making) them a very unique animal (to see here) – chances of anyone ever seeing one again in their life time is virtually zero!”
In other words, unless you’re a regular scuba diver in the Arctic, the Vancouver Aquarium is probably the only place you’ll be able to see it. Now that’s unique.