opossum shrimp

any small, shrimplike crustacean of the order Mysidacea, the females of which carry their eggs in a pouch between the legs.
[1835-45]

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also called  possum shrimp  or  mysids 

      any member of the crustacean order Mysidacea. Most of the nearly 1,000 known species live in the sea; a few live in brackish water; and fewer still live in fresh water. Most are 1 to 3 cm (about 0.4 to 1.2 inches) long. The name opossum shrimp derives from the females' brood pouch, in which embryos spend several weeks.

      Most mysids live in cold water, often at great depths. Some burrow into or crawl along the bottom; others creep among vegetation. Certain species swim in the open water, occasionally forming swarms consisting of great numbers of individuals. The freshwater species Mysis relicta, which is common in cold lakes of North America, Great Britain, and northern Europe, is an important food for lake trout in the Great Lakes. Some species, such as Heteromysis cotti of the Canary Islands, live in caves and are either blind or have poorly developed eyes.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Opossum shrimp — Shrimp Shrimp, n. [OE. shrimp; probably so named from its shriveled appearance. See {Shrimp}, v.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) (a) Any one of numerous species of macruran Crustacea belonging to {Crangon} and various allied genera, having a slender body and long …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Opossum shrimp — Opossum O*pos sum, n. [Of N. American Indian origin.] (Zo[ o]l.) Any American marsupial of the genera {Didelphys} and {Chironectes}; called also {possum}. The common species of the United States is {Didelphys Virginiana}. [1913 Webster] Note:… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Opossum shrimp — can refer to: *A species of shrimplike crustacean, Neomysis americana , of the group Mysidacea *Any member of the group Mysidacea …   Wikipedia

  • opossum shrimp — n. MYSID: the female carries her eggs in a pouch between the legs …   English World dictionary

  • opossum shrimp — /əˈpɒsəm ʃrɪmp/ (say uh posuhm shrimp) noun any of the small, shrimp like schizopod crustaceans constituting the family Mysidae, of which the females carry their eggs in a pouch between the legs …   Australian English dictionary

  • opossum shrimp — noun a shrimp like crustacean whose eggs and young are carried in a ventral brood pouch. [Order Mysidacea.] …   English new terms dictionary

  • opossum shrimp — noun shrimp like crustaceans whose females carry eggs and young in a pouch between the legs • Hypernyms: ↑malacostracan crustacean • Member Holonyms: ↑Mysis, ↑genus Mysis, ↑Praunus, ↑genus Praunus …   Useful english dictionary

  • Shrimp — Shrimp, n. [OE. shrimp; probably so named from its shriveled appearance. See {Shrimp}, v.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) (a) Any one of numerous species of macruran Crustacea belonging to {Crangon} and various allied genera, having a slender body and long legs.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Shrimp catcher — Shrimp Shrimp, n. [OE. shrimp; probably so named from its shriveled appearance. See {Shrimp}, v.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) (a) Any one of numerous species of macruran Crustacea belonging to {Crangon} and various allied genera, having a slender body and long …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Shrimp net — Shrimp Shrimp, n. [OE. shrimp; probably so named from its shriveled appearance. See {Shrimp}, v.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) (a) Any one of numerous species of macruran Crustacea belonging to {Crangon} and various allied genera, having a slender body and long …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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