Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. One of two main divisions of the Crustacea proper; the division which is contrasted with Entomostraca. By Latreille the group was divided into five orders, Decapoda, Stomapoda, Lœmodipoda, Amphipoda, and Isopoda. Zoölogically speaking, its limits have fluctuated so far and so often with different writers that no comprehensive yet exclusive definition is practicable, and the general tendency is now to ignore the term, along with Entomostraca. Huxley, however, retains both.
- n. A taxonomic class within the subphylum Crustacea — most crustacea - crabs, lobsters, shrimps etc., which have soft shells after moulting.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) A subclass of Crustacea, including Arthrostraca and Thoracostraca, or all those higher than the Entomostraca.
- n. largest subclass of Crustacea including most of the well-known marine, freshwater, and terrestrial crustaceans: crabs; lobsters; shrimps; sow bugs; beach flies
- From malaco- ("soft") + Ancient Greek ὄστρακον (ostrakon, "shell"). (Wiktionary)
“Malacostraca, that is to say, are derived by inheritance from the same source with them.”
“A scarcely less minute account follows of the 'Malacostraca' or crustaceans, the lobsters and the crabs, the shrimps and the prawns, and others of their kind, a chapter to which Cuvier devoted a celebrated essay.”
The Legacy of Greece Essays By: Gilbert Murray, W. R. Inge, J. Burnet, Sir T. L. Heath, D'arcy W. Thompson, Charles Singer, R. W. Livingston, A. Toynbee, A. E. Zimmern, Percy Gardner, Sir Reginald Blomfield
“The dominant groups of crustaceans are the Ostrachoda, Conchostraca and the Malacostraca.”
“With regard to the Malacostraca or crustaceans, one species is that of the crawfish, and a second, resembling the first, is that of the lobster; the lobster differing from the crawfish in having claws, and in a few other respects as well.”
“Among his Malacostraca he compares point by point the external parts of the carabus (_Palinurus_), and the astacus (_Homarus_), and he compares also the general internal anatomy of the various "genera" he distinguishes.”
“Malacostraca (= higher Crustacea), Insecta (= annulose animals),”
“_Peneus_ with its long direct development gave the best and truest picture of the ancestral history of the Malacostraca, and that accordingly the nauplius and the zoaea larvæ represented important ancestral stages.”
“Malacostraca [Crabs, Lobsters, Shrimps, etc.] may perhaps present a point of union.”
“A closer examination of the developmental history of the lower Crustacea is unnecessary after what has been said in general upon the historical significance of the young states, and the application of this which has just been made to the Malacostraca.”
“A similar development must have been once passed through by the primitive ancestor of all Malacostraca, probably differing from that of our Prawn, especially in the circumstance that it would go on more uniformly without the sudden change of form and mode of locomotion produced in the latter by the simultaneous sprouting forth and entering into action in the Nauplius of four and in the Zoea of five pairs of limbs.”
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