copepod


co·pe·pod

noun \ˈkō-pə-ˌpäd\

Definition of COPEPOD

:  any of a large subclass (Copepoda) of usually minute freshwater and marine crustaceans
copepod adjective

Origin of COPEPOD

ultimately from Greek kōpē oar, handle + pod-, pous foot; probably akin to Latin capere to take — more at heave, foot
First Known Use: 1836

copepod

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Copepods (Temora)—Douglas P. Wilson

Any of the 10,000 known species of crustaceans in the subclass Copepoda. Copepods are widely distributed and ecologically important, serving as food for many species of fish. Most species are free-living marine forms, found from the sea's surface to great depths. Some live in freshwater or in damp vegetation; others are parasites. Most species are 0.02–0.08 in. (0.5–2 mm) long. The largest species, a parasite of the fin whale, grows to a length of about 13 in. (32 cm). Unlike most crustaceans, copepods have no carapace. Nonparasitic forms feed on microscopic plants or animals or even on animals as large as themselves. Members of the genus Cyclops (order Cyclopoida) are called water fleas. See also guinea worm.

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