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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Giant Mussel Shrimp Gigantocypris muelleri

The body of the giant mussel shrimp is totally enclosed within its carapace, so that its seven pairs of limbs are almost hidden from view. It has large, mirror eyes with parabolic-shaped reflectors that focus light on to a flat plate in its center. The giant mussel shrimp is planktonic, but lives at greater depth than many forms of plankton, usually below 650 ft (200 m), where it feeds on detritus sinking down from above. The picture shows a large female giant mussel shrimp carrying embryos, which are clearly visible through the carapace.

Giant Mussel Shrimp habitat mapzoom image
  • Subphylum Crustacea
  • Length – in (1.4–1.8 cm)
  • Habitat Planktonic, intermediate to deep sea
  • Distribution Atlantic, Southern Ocean, western Indian Ocean