Modern Forms

Today the Crustacea are one of the most abundant groups on earth with over 800 families. Some of the more important extant groups include these:

The crustaceans today exploit every habitat from the deep abyssal ocean to the land, and every imaginable habitat and niche in between. They exhibit a broad range of feeding strategies, from filter feeding to active predation and even parasitism.

And of course today crustaceans are extremely valuable economicaly for food. We all know how much lobster costs in the restaurant!

Below are some pictures of some of the strange and wonderful crustaceans of today.

Leaf barnacle using its cirri to filter feed. Copyright E. Eugenia Patten - California Academy of Science.

Hermit crab. Copyright Gerald and Buff Corsi - California Academy of Science.

Isopods feeding off parasites on the surface of a fish.

A platter of crustaceans, demonstrating the commercial value of these animals.