; phylum Arthropoda, subphylum Crustacea)
Diverse class of small, mainly freshwater, filter-feeding crustaceans, all characterized by flattened, leaf-like trunk appendages in which the coxa bears a flattened epipodite which functions as a gill. The Branchiopoda includes the Anostraca (fairy shrimps), Notostraca (tadpole shrimps), Conchostraca (clam shrimps), and Cladocera (water fleas). Many are pink or red owing to the presence of haemoglobin. They are often inhabitants of temporary bodies of water, and have drought-resistant eggs. There are 800 species.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.