Barnard, J. Laurens Formerly, Curator of Crustacea, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.
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An order of crustaceans in the subclass Malacostraca, which lack a carapace, bear unstalked eyes, and respire by thoracic branchiae, or gills. The abdomen of Amphipoda usually bears three pairs of biramous swimmerets (pleopods), three pairs of rather rigid uropods, and a telson which may be lobed or entire. The body is usually flattened laterally, and the pereiopods (walking legs), unlike those of the Isopoda, are elongated so that walking is difficult. In contrast to the Isopoda, the maxillipeds lack epipodites. The sexes are separate, but reproductive and copulatory organs are very simple. The eggs are extruded by the female into a ventral brood pouch composed of setose lamellae attached to the medial bases of the legs. The young hatch as miniature adults, growing usually to a length of 0.12–0.48 in. (3–12 mm), and in exceptional cases to 5.6 in. (140 mm). See also: Isopoda
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