Larsen, Kim R. Laboratory of Marine Community Ecology and Evolution, Centro Interdisciplinar de Investigação Marinha e Ambiental, Porto, Portugal.
- Body plan
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An order of small crustaceans within the superorder Peracarida (Malacostraca). Most phylogenies place the Tanaidacea as a sister group to the Isopoda or Cumacea. Currently, the order consists of three recent suborders: Apseudomorpha, Neotanaidomorpha, and Tanaidomorpha. Among them, 25 families, more than 200 genera, and more than 1000 species have been described. However, it is estimated that the order contains several thousand undescribed species, most of which are suspected to dwell in the deep sea. Adult tanaidaceans range in length from 1 to 75 mm (0.04 to 3 in.), but the vast majority of species measure only a few millimeters and belong to the macrofauna community. The different suborders all have characteristic life styles: neotanaidomorphans are free-living sediment-surface dwellers, tanaidomorphans are tube dwellers, and apseudomorphans are mostly burrowers. See also: Crustacea; Cumacea; Isopoda; Malacostraca; Peracarida
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