RESOURCES: Meet Some Cosmopolitan Crustaceans

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Science  02 Nov 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5544, pp. 963
DOI: 10.1126/science.294.5544.963d

You might find one of the crustaceans known as copepods living high in the Himalayas, munching on the gills of a fish, or basking in a steaming thermal pool. Huge numbers of them swarm the ocean and fresh waters, and their fans like to point out that there may be more copepods than insects on Earth. Researchers looking for more information on these ubiquitous creatures, such as the colorful Oncaea venusta, should try this pair of Web sites.

The most impressive resource at the Smithsonian's World of Copepods is a complete bibliography with some 39,000 references dating back to 1600. You can also search a list of all known copepod scientific names or scour the database of 5000 type specimens held by the museum. There's also a worldwide directory of copepod researchers. The Copepods Web Portal is a new community site from zoologist Giuseppe Pesce of the University of L'Aquila in Italy. Though still under construction, the site already offers a checklist of Italian copepods as well as reviews of some of the groups of copepods that inhabit groundwater.

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