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Modern forms

    Ostracods are one of the most diverse living crustaceans. They can still be found today and are as abundant as ever. They are found in most habitats, such as freshwater, brackish and marine environments. They can commonly be found on seaweeds and in surface scraps from mud flats. They still feed on similar food sources as they did in the past (being scavengers and filter feeders) some have even been found attached to sharks! There has even been reports from Australian damp forests of some ostracods becoming terrestrialised.
    Living ostracods tend to be classified by variations in their soft parts and appendages.
Below is picture of a modern day ostracod.

Photogragh of a modern ostracod Asteropteron sp. Taken from Victoria museum
Photograph of a modern ostracod Asteropteron sp. Taken from Victoria Museum (permission sought).

    Ostracodology is the scientific study of Ostracoda, and there are many palaeontologists that are interested in them. In recent years our need to understand past climate variability has increased and so to has the utility of ostracodes as indicators of climatically driven environmental changes.

    Living ostracods are best seen placed with a small amount of water under a cover slip on a glass cavity slide and viewed with transmitted light, which is best to view their morphology and limb movements.