Ostracods (Fig. 23.1A), commonly called seed shrimps, have a bivalved carapace that fully encloses the body. They range in length from less than 1 mm to about 20 mm, but most species seen on the GBR are 3-5 mm long. Ostracods use their two pairs of antennae for Socomotion, either swimming or 'creeping', and their thoracic limbs are reduced to two pairs. Ostracods are divided into two major groups: the Podocopa and My-odocopa. Podocopans are typically elongate and peanut shaped whereas myodocopans are generally rounded or ovate with a notch in the margin. Almost any sediment or algal sample will contain ostracods; species may be detritivores, carnivores or scavengers. More than 40 species are known from Lizard Island Elsewhere on the GBR, ostracods have been scarcely studied but many more species almost certainly await discovery.

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