Quick facts for kidsOstracoda
Temporal range: Cambrian to Recent
Some 65,000 species (13,000 of which are living) have been identified.
Ostracods are small crustaceans, typically around 1 millimetre (0.04 in) in size, but varying from 0.2 millimetres (0.0079 in) to 30 mm (1.2 in) in the case of Gigantocypris.
Many ostracods are also found in fresh water. Terrestrial species of Mesocypris are known from humid forest soils of South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania. They have a wide range of diets, and the group includes carnivores, herbivores, scavengers, and filter feeders.
Copepods may not be monophyletic. Ostracod taxa are grouped into a Class based on gross morphology (what they look like). Their DNA sequence analysis in their mitochondria has been examined. The results are not clear.
Images for kids
Articulated ostracod valves in cross-section from the Permian of central Texas; typical thin section view of an ostracod fossil
Ostracod Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.