Cumaceans generally sit with their bodies just submerged in the sediment. They need to maintain contact with the overlying water to pump oxygenated water over their gills. The respiratory current generated by the movement of the first maxilliped epipod enters at the base of the walking legs, passes under the carapace, and exits at the front of the carapace, where part of the epipod forms a siphon. Some members of several shallow-water species after sunset undergo vertical migration from the sediment into the water column.

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