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Calanoida is an order of copepods, a kind of zooplankton. They include around 46 families with about 1800 species of both marine and freshwater copepods.[2] Calanoid copepods are dominant in the plankton in many parts of the world's oceans, making up 55%–95% of plankton samples.[2] They are therefore important in many food webs, taking in energy from phytoplankton and algae and 'repackaging' it for consumption by higher trophic level predators.[2] Many commercial fish are dependent on calanoid copepods for diet in either their larval or adult forms. Baleen whales such as bowhead whales, sei whales, right whales and fin whales eat calanoid copepods.[2]

Diaptomus GLERL 1.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Crustacea
Class: Maxillopoda
Subclass: Copepoda
Superorder: Gymnoplea
Giesbrecht, 1882 [1]
Order: Calanoida
Sars, 1903

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Calanoids can be distinguished from other planktonic copepods by having first antennae at least half the length of the body and biramous second antennae.[2] Their key defining feature anatomically, however, is the presence of a joint between the fifth and sixth body segments.[3] The largest specimens reach 18 millimetres (0.71 in) long, but most are 0.5–2.0 mm (0.02–0.08 in) long.[2]



  1. ^ J. W. Martin & G. E. Davis (2001). An Updated Classification of the Recent Crustacea (PDF). Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. pp. 132 pp. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f John Mauchline (1998). "Introduction". The Biology of Calanoid Copepods. Advances in Marine Biology. 33. Elsevier. pp. 1–15. ISBN 978-0-12-105545-5. 
  3. ^ Barnes, Robert D. (1982). Invertebrate Zoology. Philadelphia, PA: Holt-Saunders International. p. 692. ISBN 0-03-056747-5. 

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