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Bathyconchoecia arctica
Metaconchoecia skogsbergi
Paramollicia dichotoma
   

 

Ostracods - clam shrimps

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Ostracods are a group of small crustaceans usually between 0.5 and 4 mm in length with a clam-shell like cover over their bodies. Swimming is done by sticking out the antennae and legs through the shell. The pelagic species are not common in shallow waters but are abundant at mid-ocean depths, where we also see their maximum diversity. In midwaters they can be second in abundance to the copepods.

All ostracods are scavengers, eating almost any dead material offered to them. They are in turn consumed by a wide variety of predators. Depsite their potential importance little is known about their biology and ecology of this group.

In the Arctic there are 9 known species of pelagic ostracods, with Boroecia maxima predominant. It is likely that additional species exist, but have never been examined by experts for this group.

Page Author: Russ Hopcroft
Created: January 4, 2008

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