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© Marie-Béatrice FOREL / Nathalie POULET-CROVISIER / Lidija KORAT / CR2P / SNBCEI - Ljubljana / CNRS Images



Swimming in troubled waters

Ostracods are microscopic crustaceans, most of them no larger than a grain of sand. This specimen of "Havanardia societatis" comes from a lagoon in French Polynesia and has valves with impressive lateral extensions that are specific to this species. It belongs to a major family that has lived for some 500 million years in marine environments ranging from coastal areas to the ocean depths. Fragile yet resilient, ostracods have survived the five mass extinctions that have punctuated the history of life. Using 3D reconstructions, anatomical comparison between present-day and fossil forms helps to characterise and understand them better, making these crustaceans an important tool for studying changes in biodiversity and environments. This image is one of the winners of the 2022 La preuve par l’image (LPPI) photography competition.

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