Clam Shrimp (Orders Laevicaudata,Spinicaudata and Cyclestherida)

Clam shrimp are a group of unique bivalved branchiopods that have no relation to molluscan bivalves. Clam shrimp can be found worldwide, mostly in vernal pools and other small bodies of water, where the filter the water for passing nutrients and food. Like other branchiopods like the infamous Daphnia clam shrimp have several rows of legs which they use to swim trough the water. When threatened the clam shrimp like a true clam can close its hardy shell and will drift to the bottom until it is safe.


Animalia-Arthropoda-Crustacea-Branchiopoda-Phyllopoda-Laevicaudata (Spinicaudata) (Cyclestherida)

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Do Monkey, Hear Monkey, See Monkey

The topic of the next five days is Triops, that bizarre Branchiopod we typically call sea monkeys in an attempt to relate to an ancient, alien and generally icky genus. This was suggested by kodakowl, who noted that the poor, li'l crustaceans had very few posts on Tumblr. So here’s to you, Triops; Here’s to you, kodakowl; and Here’s to you, tea (I just like tea).

If any of my legion of regular followers (total=13) or any other random readers would like to suggest some sort of intellectually stimulating or ridiculous topics, please do. ???

Rare Shelled Branchiocaris Arthropod from Chengjiang

Branchiocaris sp
Phylum Arthropoda
Geological Time: Early Cambrian (~525 million years ago)
Size: 35 mm long
Fossil Site: Chengjiang Maotianshan Shales - Quiongzhusi Section, Yu’anshan Member, Heilinpu Formation, Ercaicun Village, Haikou County, Kunming, Yunnan Province, China

This unusual Phyllocarid arthropod is known as Branchiocaris. Phyllocarids are one of the lesser-known branchiopod crustaceans from the Cambrian where they are among the earliest animals with a hard shell. A Cambrian Explosion fossil from Fossil Mall.

Cambrian Phyllocarid Arthropod Branchiocaris  from Utah with Preserved Soft Tissue

Image: (CC BY-NC 4.0)  Virtual Fossil Museum

Branchiocaris pretiosa

Phylum Arthropoda (Euarthropoda stem group), or
Phylum Arthropoda, Subphylum Crustacea, Class Malacostraca, Subclass Phyllocarida
Geologic Time
: Early Cambrian
Size: 68 mm long by 36 mm across
Fossil Site: Wheeler Shale, House Range, Utah 

Since Resser in 1929 described the genus from a Burgess Shale specimen, its affinities have remained in disagreement as to whether it’s a stem group euarthropod, or a primitive branchiopod crustacean.