Freshwater amphipod crustacean (Gammarus sp.), SEM

Freshwater amphipod crustacean (Gammarus sp.), SEM

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Credit: DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Freshwater amphipod crustacean (Gammarus sp.). Gammarus sp., also known as scuds or freshwater amphipods, are tiny amphipods that range from 6-15mm in length. Amphipods typically have a laterally flattened body and fourteen limbs (legs) by which they can rapidly move. They are common in freshwater lakes, ponds, rivers and even in aquariums. They spend most of their time in the shelter of rocks and plants. By moving their legs they also circulate fresh, oxygen-rich water over their gills. Unlike many freshwater invertebrates they have no larval stage, but hatch from the eggs fully developed. They also mature and reproduce very quickly, producing up to two generations every year. Magnification x6 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.

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