Copepods rule the earth


This is Pleuromamma, a calanoid copepod, measuring about 3 mm from head to telson. Calanoid copepods are small planktonic crustaceans forming one of the major links of the marine food web. Their antennae are adorned with a striking array of hairs or "setae" which give the animals the appearance of naval reconnaissance ships. Indeed, sensory reconnaissance related to fluid movements and odors appears to be the primary sensory function of these structures. These copepods usually hold their long antennae out from their heads, forming a "T" and positioning their sensory setae in ideal locations. Planktonic copepods also use their antennae, which have muscle nearly to the tips, to stroke in their spectacularly fast escape response. Click on the smallerAetidyopsis for more information on copepod sensory setae.

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Gaussia    Pleuromamma    Sensory setae


Copyright © 1996-2000 Tina (Weatherby) Carvalho...MicroAngela
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