Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- In zoology: Latreille's name for all crustaceans, except the stalk-eyed and sessile-eyed groups. It is restricted to a portion of the lower crustaceans, but the classifications vary so much that the term is gradually being abandoned. The groups usually noted by it are the Ostracoda, as Cypris; Copepoda, as Cyclops; Cladocera, as Daphnia (see
Daphnia); Branchiopoda, as the brine-shrimp (Artemia salina) and the glacier-flea (Podura nivalis); Trilobites, all of which are extinct; Merostomata, of which Eurypterus and Pterygotus are the best-known examples among fossils, the king-crab being the only living example. To these some add the Epizoa, or parasitic crustaceans. No zoological definition can be framed to include all these groups, each of which is now usually regarded as a distinct order. The Entomostraca appear to have been first named by O. F. Müller in 1785, and have also been called Gnathopoda, as by H. Woodward.
- In various Systems, one of two main divisions of Crustacea proper (the other being Malacostraca). It is divided into Cirripedia (including Rhizocephala), Copepoda (including Siphonostoma), Ostracoda, and Branchiopoda (the latter covering both Cladocera and Phyllopoda).
- As restricted, defined, and retained by Huxley, those Crustacea which have not more than three maxilliform gnathites and completely specialized jaws, the abdominal segments (counting as such those which lie behind the genital aperture) devoid of appendages, if there be any abdomen, and the embryo almost always leaving the egg as a nauplius-form. Thus defined, the Entomostraca are divided into: 1, Copepoda; 2, Epizoa; 3, Branchiopoda; 4, Ostracoda; 5, Pectostraca.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) One of the subclasses of Crustacea, including a large number of species, many of them minute. The group embraces several orders; as the Phyllopoda, Ostracoda, Copepoda, and Pectostraca. See copepoda, phyllopoda, and cladocera.
- n. in some older classifications includes the Branchiopoda and Copepoda and Ostracoda and Cirripedia; no longer in technical use
“But this is perhaps because the minute, almost invisible creatures, or entomostraca, of which the rivers and ponds are full, and which are the main food of the smaller water carnivora, live mainly on decaying vegetable substance, which is practically converted and condensed into microscopical animals before these become in turn the food of others.”
“But the bottom becomes covered with the suspended matter deposited from the unfiltered water, and probably a considerable number of the minute _entomostraca_ beloved of all fish breed in this.”
“The water-weeds, both when living and decaying, are eaten by the entomostraca, the entomostraca are eaten by the larvae of insects, the perfect insects are eaten by the fish, and the fish are eaten by men, otters, and birds.”
“If so, the embryos of the existing vertebrata will shadow forth the full-grown structure of some of those forms of this great class which existed at the earlier periods of the earth's history : and accordingly, animals with a fish-like structure ought to have preceded birds and mammals; and of fish, that higher organized division with the vertebræ extending into one division of the tail ought to have preceded the equal-tailed, because the embryos of the latter have an unequal tail; and of Crustacea, entomostraca ought to have preceded the ordinary crabs and barnacles -- polypes ought to have preceded jelly-fish, and infusorial animalcules to have existed before both.”
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