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Author Topic: Giant Isopod (Kitan Club - Nature Techni Colour)  (Read 3745 times)

brontodocus

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Giant Isopod (Kitan Club - Nature Techni Colour)
« on: January 04, 2015, 12:42:49 AM »
One of the figures I have most eagerly awaited in 2014 was the Kitan Club Nature Techni Colour Giant Isopod, Bathynomus giganteus, Milne-Edwards, 1879. The figure has just been released in late December 2014. Bathynomus giganteus is the largest known species of isopods although it has been considered that other species within the same genus may rival it in size. The remarkable size, roughly that of a loaf of bread at usually between 190 and 350 mm (though some specimens may get considerably larger), is what sets it apart from the majority of isopods. Like the Colossal Squid, Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni, and the Giant Squid, Architeuthis dux, the Giant Isopod is often mentioned as an example of deep-sea gigantism. However, this term may lead to a misconception of what size deep-sea organisms usually attain (and it is dependent on how deep sea is defined), actually many of them are smaller on average than their shallow-water relatives. On the other hand species of some invertebrate groups tend to attain very large sizes especially in cold waters - which is why in these groups giant species can also occur e.g. on the Antarctic continental shelf. Bathynomus species belong to the Cirolanidae, a family of carnivorous isopods which are usually scavengers but are also known to attack fishing trawls. And while B. giganteus is generally regarded as a typical deep-sea organism it should be noted that it lives in the shallowest parts of what we usually define as deep sea and it has been recorded from depths between 310 and 2140 m - with a majority of records between 365 and 730 m. So this is a species which usually lives on the upper continental slopes, the seafloor that connects the shallow continental shelf with the much deeper abyssal plains. There is still some light reaching the seafloor at the upper continental slopes and B. giganteus has very large, reflective (they have a silvery shine in life) compound eyes with thousands of ommatidia (while most isopods of the deeper abyssal plains are actually eyeless). Although not regularly sampled, the Giant Isopod may actually be quite an abundant species but population estimates and even their densities are difficult to evaluate. So it's understandable that the species has also not been evaluated ("NE") by IUCN. Live specimens of Bathynomus species are currently displayed in several aquaria in Japan.

The figure itself is about the size of an average mature specimen at 287 mm length and is made of hollow PVC. Despite its size the weight is merely 346 g. It is about as accurate as a plastic figure can be, i.e. it rivals scientific models in quality and accuracy: All but the first pereonite (thoracic segments that carry the walking legs) show lateral coxal plates, the number and shape of leg segments is correct, each of the five pleonites (rear thoracic segments behind the pereonites) bears a pair of (simplified) biramous leaf-shaped limbs, the pleopods (which are used for respiration and swimming), and the pleotelson (the shield-like terminal "segment", actually it's a fusion of two segments) has a correct number of spines. The head shows a small antenna 1 (often named "antennule") and a larger antenna 2, as well as very detailed mouthparts. Much attention was given to reflect a correct morphology, something still many arthropod figures get completely wrong, but in this respect the figure is flawless. However, on a large, high quality (and expensive) figure even more and sharper details on the legs, e.g. fringes of setae, would not have been impossible to achieve while other parts, e.g. those leaf-like pleopods, are just too much simplified for a figure of this size. Sadly, the eyes are plain black instead of metallic silver. Other than that it is an impressive figure which (at least for me) justifies its high price, although I have to admit that I am particularly biased towards deep-water isopods.





















Edit 2017-02-04: FIxed broken image urls.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2017, 10:26:47 PM by brontodocus »



animaltoyforum

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Re: Giant Isopod (Kitan Club - Nature Techni Colour)
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2015, 06:59:20 PM »
Wonderful model, brilliant photos!

I think we have one of these preserved in spirit in our museum.

bmathison1972

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Re: Giant Isopod (Kitan Club - Nature Techni Colour)
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2015, 07:15:35 PM »
Awesome figure. I'd love to get one, but the going price on ebay now is $150, and I refuse to pay that for a single figure, especially when I have 4 small figures of this genus/species. Maybe someday if the price goes down I'd consider it.

I payed $120 for the Kaiyodo study room trilobite, Ceraurinealla typa, but that's a retired figure (I think) and the only figure of that genus/species (I think).

brontodocus

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Re: Giant Isopod (Kitan Club - Nature Techni Colour)
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2015, 08:12:52 PM »
Thanks, Adam and Blaine! :)
I think we have one of these preserved in spirit in our museum.
We had one in our department at our university, too, when my PhD supervisor was still holding the chair. His specimen is about as large as the figure. Preserved specimens are sometimes even available for sale. However, compared to the prices I've seen for large specimens the Kitan Club figure is actually cheap!
Awesome figure. I'd love to get one, but the going price on ebay now is $150, and I refuse to pay that for a single figure, especially when I have 4 small figures of this genus/species. Maybe someday if the price goes down I'd consider it.

I payed $120 for the Kaiyodo study room trilobite, Ceraurinealla typa, but that's a retired figure (I think) and the only figure of that genus/species (I think).
Similar to what I paid for the Kitan Club Giant Isopod, it was $129 including international shipping by EMS. Still a very high price to pay for a single figure. :-[ The retail price on Kitan Club's website is 9,800 which is currently, despite the low yen, approx. $81 or 67. With international shipping costs included, those ebay prices are painfully high but not outrageous. But of course, it's well possible that the figure will eventually show up in used condition on Yahoo Auctions Japan and then it may be a lot less expensive. I don't know if the Study Room trilobite is retired or not (but I'm sure Helge would know) but as a museum exclusive it's of course difficult to obtain if you cannot visit the museum shop yourself. However, they would cost only a fraction if we could order them from the museum ourselves. :-\

sbell

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Re: Giant Isopod (Kitan Club - Nature Techni Colour)
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2015, 08:41:34 PM »
Awesome figure. I'd love to get one, but the going price on ebay now is $150, and I refuse to pay that for a single figure, especially when I have 4 small figures of this genus/species. Maybe someday if the price goes down I'd consider it.

I payed $120 for the Kaiyodo study room trilobite, Ceraurinealla typa, but that's a retired figure (I think) and the only figure of that genus/species (I think).

It is indeed retired, although they seem to float around on auction a lot. And they almost always sell regardless of price.



postsaurischian

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Re: Giant Isopod (Kitan Club - Nature Techni Colour)
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2015, 08:54:05 PM »
 :D AWESOME figure! Especially when being watched from beyond. Congrats, Andre ^-^!


I payed $120 for the Kaiyodo study room trilobite, Ceraurinealla typa, but that's a retired figure (I think) and the only figure of that genus/species (I think).

It is indeed retired .......

Yes, it is.
But you never know - they also re-released the Tyrannosaurus which had been sold out for years.



« Last Edit: January 04, 2015, 08:56:05 PM by postsaurischian »

brontodocus

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Re: Giant Isopod (Kitan Club - Nature Techni Colour)
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2015, 10:19:27 PM »
Many thanks, Helge! :)

Jetoar

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Re: Giant Isopod (Kitan Club - Nature Techni Colour)
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2015, 11:33:42 PM »
Wonderful figure with great details  ^-^.
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brontodocus

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Re: Giant Isopod (Kitan Club - Nature Techni Colour)
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2015, 08:44:48 AM »
Thanks, Jetoar! :)

Beetle guy

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Re: Giant Isopod (Kitan Club - Nature Techni Colour)
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2016, 08:03:48 PM »
Thanks for the view by great pic's. Just won the 6 set of smaller ones  :) some of the few non beetle figurines I have.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2016, 08:04:08 PM by Beetle guy »
To beetle or not to beetle.



brontodocus

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Re: Giant Isopod (Kitan Club - Nature Techni Colour)
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2017, 10:27:54 PM »
Broken image urls fixed - Kitan Club life-size Bathynomus giganteus is back! :)

bmathison1972

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Re: Giant Isopod (Kitan Club - Nature Techni Colour)
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2017, 10:46:35 PM »
I still have not brought myself to buy this one. Maybe if I can ever find it under $100 USD. There are so many giant isopods out there, it's hard to justify the cost.
In fact, I think I'll post all my giant isopods as the next BoTD post. Thanks for the inspiration, Andre  :) 8)

brontodocus

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Re: Giant Isopod (Kitan Club - Nature Techni Colour)
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2017, 10:50:30 PM »
I still have not brought myself to buy this one. Maybe if I can ever find it under $100 USD. There are so many giant isopods out there, it's hard to justify the cost.
In fact, I think I'll post all my giant isopods as the next BoTD post. Thanks for the inspiration, Andre  :) 8)
Thanks, Blaine! :) I'll be looking forward to see them all in one post! 8)

bmathison1972

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Re: Giant Isopod (Kitan Club - Nature Techni Colour)
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2017, 11:12:07 PM »
I still have not brought myself to buy this one. Maybe if I can ever find it under $100 USD. There are so many giant isopods out there, it's hard to justify the cost.
In fact, I think I'll post all my giant isopods as the next BoTD post. Thanks for the inspiration, Andre  :) 8)
Thanks, Blaine! :) I'll be looking forward to see them all in one post! 8)

They are up now ;D