Behavior

Anaspidaceans are not good swimmers. Instead, they spend most of their time walking over the substrate. The exopods of the thoracic legs are in nearly constant motion, most likely circulating fresh oxygen-bearing water past the flap-like epipods. When walking, the legs move in a metachronal pattern, which continues to the pleopods. In fact, in the larger species, the pleopods have the same motion as the walking legs, so that at first glance the animal looks to have a continuous set of legs all the way to the posterior end of the body. When startled, anaspidaceans are capable of an upward jump in which the body is flexed about midway along the back. On relaxation, the animal settles to the bottom and walks about as if nothing had happened. There appears to be no territoriality in anaspidaceans. When two individuals meet, they may touch antennae, but as often as not, one merely walks over the body of the other.

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