Evolution and systematics

Cumaceans are the most modified of the orders usually grouped together in the superorder Peracarida. The fossil record is sparse, but a few specimens from the Mesozoic have been found. Eight families of cumaceans are recognized. As many as 26 families once were used to divide the cumacean genera, but many contained only one or two genera. Modern phylogenetic methods are being used to revise the current scheme. Molecular and morphological evidence suggests that reduction of the cumacean telson, which is a feature of three families, has occurred only once.

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