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
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
Living ostracods tend to be classified
by variations in their soft parts and appendages.
Below is picture of a modern day ostracod.
Photograph of a modern ostracod Asteropteron
sp. Taken from Victoria
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
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