Mystacocarids: Mystacocarida - Physical Characteristics, Mystacocarids And People, No Common Name (derocheilocaris Typicus): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, BEHAVIOR AND REPRODUCTION, CONSERVATION STATUS
Mystacocarids are found along the coasts of the eastern and western Atlantic, southern South America, western Australia, and the Mediterranean Sea.
Mystacocarids live in the spaces between the grains of sand found along coastal beaches.
Mystacocarids probably eat algae (AL-jee) and bacteria living on the surfaces of sand grains.
BEHAVIOR AND REPRODUCTION
Mystacocarids use their antennae, mandibles, and slender bodies to burrow through the sand.
Both males and females are required for reproduction, but mating has never been observed by scientists. Females release fertilized eggs into the sand. The hatching larvae (LAR-vee), or young animals, do not resemble the adults. They molt, or shed their external skeletons (exoskeletons), several times, adding body segments and thoracic limbs as they grow.
No species of mystacocarids is considered threatened or endangered.
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