Mysids are originally marine crustaceans. They are a highly adaptive group, however, which makes them effective invaders of new habitats, including brackish water and freshwater environments. As a whole, the group is essentially pelagic, although commonly epibenthic, which means that they live on or immediately above the surface of the sediment. Some species burrow into the sediment, live just above the sandy or muddy bottom, or migrate between substrates at the bottom and the surface waters. A few are strictly pelagic species; some live in shallow water in the littoral zone among macroalgae, in crevices along rocky shores, or on sandy beaches. Many species of deep-sea mysids are found on or just above the ocean floor at various depths, including abyssal waters at depths of 18,700-23,622 ft (5,700-7,200 m).

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