Remipedia

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Remipedia
Temporal range: Pennsylvanian to Recent
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Crustacea
Class: Remipedia
J. Yager, 1981

Remipedia is a class of blind crustaceans found in coastal aquifers. So long as the water is salty, these little animals can be found.

They are found in almost every ocean basin so far explored, including in Australia, the Caribbean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean.

The first described remipede was a fossil called Tesnusocaris goldichi (early Pennsylvanian). Since 1979 at least 17 living species have been identified. They live in the neo-tropical zone.[1]

Remipedes are 10–40 millimetres (0.4–1.6 in) long. They have a head and a long trunk of up to forty-two similar body segments.[2] The swimming appendages are on the sides of each segment, and the animals swim on their backs. They are generally slow-moving.

They have fangs connected to secretory glands; it is still unknown whether these glands secrete digestive juices or poisonous venom, or whether remipedes feed primarily on detritus or on living organisms. They have a primitive body plan in crustacean terms, and may be a basal, ancestral crustacean group.

At least one species, Godzilliognomus frondosus, has an organised brain, with a particularly large olfactory area. Species which live in dark environments need to detect scents in the water.[3] The size and complexity of the brain suggested that Remipedia might be the sister taxon to Malacostraca, regarded as the most advanced of the crustaceans.

References[change | change source]

  1. Stefan Koenemann et al. (2007). "Phylogenetic analysis of Remipedia (Crustacea)". Organisms, Diversity & Evolution 7 (1): 33–51. doi:10.1016/j.ode.2006.07.001 .
  2. Cameron McCormick (2008). "Remipedia". The Lord Geekington. http://cameronmccormick.blogspot.com/2008/11/remipedia.html.
  3. Martin Fanenbruck, Steffen Harzsch & Johann Wolfgang Wägele (2004). "The brain of the Remipedia (Crustacea) and an alternative hypothesis on their phylogenetic relationships". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 101 (11): 3868–3873. doi:10.1073/pnas.0306212101 .