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Order Amphipoda

Microscopic Amphipod that looks like a shrimpMax Size: <1.5 cm (0.5 in)
Habitat: Fresh and saltwater environments globally
Diet: Omnivorous, consume a wide range of dead and decaying organic matter, will sometimes predate smaller invertebrates




Fun Facts:

  • Amphipods (meaning “both feet”) have several types of legs that serve different functions, such as walking, swimming, digging, etc
  • In New York Harbor, healthy populations of Amphipods can exceed 20,000 individuals per square mile
  • Amphipods feed on algae, detritus, and plankton, and are in turn a major food source for many species of fish, especially seahorses and pipefish, for which they comprise the bulk of their diet
  • Distinguished from isopods by their compressiform (laterally compressed) bodies, versus the isopods’ depressiform (dorso-ventrally compressed) shape