Physical characteristics

Remipedes are troglobitic (cave-dwelling) crustaceans, lacking pigmentation and eyes. They are free-swimming and characterized by a short head and an elongate, segmented trunk. The head is covered with a cephalic shield. With the exception of the posterior-most segment(s), each trunk segment bears biramous, paddle-like, setose swimming appendages. Trunk segment number differs in each species. For example, the smallest species has no more than 16 segments as an adult; the largest has 29. Head appendages consist of a pair of small frontal filaments, long first antennae, and small paddle-like second antennae. The base of antenna 1 bears clusters of long aesthetascs for chemosensation. The setae of antenna 2 are long and plumose. The mandibles have a broad molar surface and cusped incisor processes. The first maxillae bear a terminal fang. The second maxillae and maxillipeds are nearly identical, and bear a terminal claw complex. These three feeding appendages are robust and prehensile. The largest species, Godzillius robustus, is about 1.8 in (45 mm) and the smallest, Godzilliognomus frondosus, is about 0.35 in (9 mm) in length.

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