Some of the most advanced species of parasitic copepods are found in this order. These copepods are worm parasites. Their nauplii appear quite typical, but have no stomach. When they find a suitable host, they shed their outer skeleton and all of their appendages and become a mass of cells. In this simple structure, they are able to reach the worms' body cavity. Once inside their host, these creatures form a thin outer skeleton; the cope-pods spend most of their lives without a mouth, intestines, or an anus. When they mature, they look like free-living copepods.
See also Zooplankton.
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