The ostracods are one of the most diverse groups of crustaceans, being found in marine, brackish and freshwater environments, and some have even made it on to land. Their body is enclosed within a bivalved shell. Their body consists mostly of a head, and they possess fewer limbs than other crustaceans.

Most ostracods are benthic (live on the sea bed), but a few are fully planktonic (float in surface waters). They show a range of feeding strategies, from filter- feeding to detritovory to predation. Below is a picture of a male South Australian ostracod Archasterope.

Copyright Museum Victoria.

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