The giant ostracod may look like a swimming orange ping-pong ball, but it’s actually a shrimp-like animal that swims by rowing its long, feathery antennae!
Ostracods are a class of crustaceans, sometimes known as seed shrimp. The deep-sea giant ostracod, Gigantocypris, is 30 times bigger than regular ostracods. Its body resembles a shrimp but is completely encased within a clamshell-like carapace. It lives in the midwater and is nearly neutrally buoyant. It swims by rowing its long, feathery antennae, which are also used for feeding. Its eyes are enormous and shaped like parabolic mirrors to help spot bioluminescent prey in the dark ocean depths. It broods its embryos inside the carapace until they are quite large and well-developed.
Oh my giant ostracod-ness!