Temporal range: Pennsylvanian to Recent
J. Yager, 1981
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. 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. 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.
- 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.
- Cameron McCormick (2008). "Remipedia". The Lord Geekington. http://cameronmccormick.blogspot.com/2008/11/remipedia.html.
- 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.