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Definition of DECAPOD
: any of an order (Decapoda) of crustaceans (as shrimps, lobsters, and crabs) with five pairs of thoracic appendages one or more of which are modified into pincers, with stalked eyes, and with the head and thorax fused into a cephalothorax and covered by a carapace
: any of the cephalopod mollusks (orders Sepioidea and Teuthoidea) with 10 arms including cuttlefishes, squids, and related forms
Any of more than 8,000 species (order Decapoda) of crustaceans having five pairs of legs attached to the thorax. The shrimps and shrimplike species, which can be as small as 0.5 in. (12 mm) long, have a slender body with a long abdomen, a well-developed fantail, and, often, long, slender legs. The crabs and crablike species, whose claw span can measure 13 ft (4 m), have a flattened body and, frequently, stout short legs and a reduced tail fan. Decapods are primarily marine and are most abundant in shallow tropical waters, but they are commercially valuable throughout the world. Some species (e.g., hermit and fiddler crabs) are adapted to terrestrial environments. See alsocrab; crayfish; lobster; shrimp.