mussel shrimp


mussel shrimp

also called  seed shrimp , or  ostracod 

      any of a widely distributed group of crustaceans belonging to the subclass Ostracoda (class Crustacea) that resemble mussels in that the body is enclosed within a bivalved (two-valved) shell. Mussel shrimp differ from most other crustaceans in having a very short trunk that has lost its external segmentation, or divisions. The 6,650 living species include marine, freshwater, and terrestrial forms.

      Some 10,000 extinct species are known, fossil ostracods being known from Late Cambrian Period (about 523 to 505 million years ago) to recent times. The several extinct species are of particular stratigraphic significance in nonmarine marls, limestones, and shales, often serving as index fossils owing to their abundance, widespread geographic occurrence, and limited vertical range. Certain genera are commonly used as guides in subsurface petroleum exploration, in a manner analogous to that of foraminifera in marine strata.

      Mussel shrimp are only about 1–2 mm (about 0.04–0.08 inch) long. Common genera include Cypris and Cypridina. The largest ostracods are in the genus Gigantocypris and grow to 23 mm. Most mussel shrimp live on or about the sea bottom. Some feed on microorganisms and organic debris; others are predators on small invertebrates; and a few are parasitic. Most prefer shallow water, but some have been collected at depths of 2,000 m (about 6,600 feet).

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • mussel shrimp — Ostracoda Os*trac o*da, prop. n. pl. (Zo[ o]l.) An order of Entomostraca possessing shrimplike bodies enclosed in hard bivalve shells; called also {seed shrimp} and {mussel shrimp}. They were formerly referred to as {Ostracoidea}. They are of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • mussel shrimp — noun tiny marine and freshwater crustaceans with a shrimp like body enclosed in a bivalve shell • Syn: ↑seed shrimp, ↑ostracod • Hypernyms: ↑crustacean • Member Holonyms: ↑Ostracoda, ↑subclass Ostracoda …   Useful english dictionary

  • mussel shrimp. — See seed shrimp. * * * …   Universalium

  • mussel shrimp. — See seed shrimp …   Useful english dictionary

  • mussel-shrimp — ˈ ̷ ̷ ̷ ̷ˌ ̷ ̷ noun : ostracod …   Useful english dictionary

  • Mussel — Not to be confused with muscle. Mussel Blue mussels Mytilus edulis in the intertidal zone in Cornwall, England Scientific classification Kingdom …   Wikipedia

  • shrimp — Synonyms and related words: Chilopoda, Chordata, Dungeness crab, Echiuroidea, Ectoprocta, Entoprocta, Japanese crab, Lilliputian, Monoplacophora, Nemertinea, Phoronidea, Tom Thumb, a nobody, a nothing, angle, bait the hook, bantam, banty, blue… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • seed shrimp — noun tiny marine and freshwater crustaceans with a shrimp like body enclosed in a bivalve shell • Syn: ↑mussel shrimp, ↑ostracod • Hypernyms: ↑crustacean • Member Holonyms: ↑Ostracoda, ↑subclass Ostracoda * * * …   Useful english dictionary

  • seed shrimp — Ostracoda Os*trac o*da, prop. n. pl. (Zo[ o]l.) An order of Entomostraca possessing shrimplike bodies enclosed in hard bivalve shells; called also {seed shrimp} and {mussel shrimp}. They were formerly referred to as {Ostracoidea}. They are of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • seed shrimp — any of numerous tiny marine and freshwater crustaceans of the subclass Ostracoda, having a shrimplike body enclosed in a hinged bivalve shell. Also called mussel shrimp, ostracod. * * * …   Universalium


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.