Class Malacostraca Shrimp Crayfish and Others

About 60% of crustacean species are malacostracans, including all species consumed by humans (mostly decapods) and many important benthic crustaceans in marine and freshwater ecosystems (e.g., amphipods and isopods).

Most orders and the 29,000 species in this class are dominated by crustaceans that live near the bottom. Ecologically important exceptions include planktonic krill (order Euphau-siacea), a vital prey of baleen whales. Parasitism is relatively rare and is confined mostly to ectoparasites of fish, crustaceans

(both mostly in the large order Isopoda), and marine mammals (small component of the large order Amphipoda).

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