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My Mystery Species

This semester, I am taking a Marine Invertebrates subject, and part of this is to create a species description for a mystery species. The lecturers set out plates that collect invertebrates such as coral, worms, crustaceans ect. and bring them into class. We then have to find a species on those plates, and describe it.

So I found this tiny little crustacean:

IMG_8044

So far, I have figured out that it is part of the Phylum Arthropoda, Class Crustacea and from there I have no idea. It resembles a crustacea because you can see it has two oddly shaped claws, and antennae, and it resembles a prawn slightly. I am exited to find out what species it is, because I want to know what the two spikes down the bottom are for. From observing it, I know that it feeds by using its middle legs to move water towards its mouth, which makes me think it could be a filter feeder or a scavenger.

I then fixed (relaxed i.e. killed) my two specimens using paraformaldeyhde and now they have lost all their colour, so they look like this:

IMG_8246

So the next step is to use an electron micrograph to take a very very close up image of them, and also stain them to show muscles. And from their, using physical characteristics, I will grab a textbook and try and figure out what this species is!

I’ll let you know the results in 6 weeks when it’s due!

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