Feeding ecology and diet

Most mysids are filter feeders, removing fine detritus, rotifers, mollusk larvae, diatoms, and other planktonic organisms out of the water while swimming just above the bottom and creating a suspension feeding current. All filter-feeding mysids may also feed raptorially; that is, they may actively capture selected prey from the environment. They have species-specific feeding modes; some species can switch from one feeding mode to another according to food availability.

Members of some mysid genera, including Neomysis and Siriella, have been seen to catch small live crustaceans (cope-pods, cladocerans, amphipods) as well as small mollusks. Mysids use their gnathopods to seize and feed on zooplankton as well as to strain phytoplankton and particulate debris. These ap pendages move the food under the animal's mandibles (jaws) and press it against these cutting appendages.

On the other hand, mysids are the prey of many larger predators around the world, including invertebrates, fishes, birds, seals and whales.

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