The Science of Everything and Giant Isopods

COSMOS magazine touts itself as the providing the “Science of Everything”. The last issue (21) seems to deliver with articles on space elevators, Greenland’s ice sheet, Pioneer, artificial intelligence, marine protected areas, California ground squirrel, scientific ballooning, and more. On page 26 and 27 is my favorite article…but I might be biased since I wrote it.

The editor of COSMOS approached me a few months ago about putting together a piece on my experience as a deep-sea explorer and the novelty of deep-sea organisms. I couldn’t pass up the oppurtunity to discuss my two favorite topics: body size evolution and the deep sea. The bad news is the hand model in the picture holding a giant isopod is Kevin. The good news is that photograph was done by the very talented Linda Zelnio which more than makes up for Kevin’s ugly hand.

If you want to see the article a teaser is below. For the whole thing you will have to head to your local Borders or Barnes & Noble and grab one.


Dr. M (1729 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, a National Science Foundation supported initiative. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web. His forthcoming book, Science of the South (, connects cultural icons of South such as pecan pie with the science behind them.

6 comments on “The Science of Everything and Giant Isopods
  1. The hand really makes the isopod in my opinion. By the way Linda is available for all your science photographic needs, or children and family pictures… with giant isopods.

  2. The pic’s too small for me to comment on the aesthetic quality of Kevin’s mitt but I like the way it hints at a human – isopod chimaera. The man with Bathynomus for hands.

    I shouldn’t have had that last cup of coffee.

  3. Pingback: Cosmic Log: Monster bug? It’s no joke! | Good Stuff

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