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BBSRC Science Snapshots

BBSRC Science Snapshots
Highlights from: 20 years of bioscience

Meet the remipede

Copyright: Dr Bjorn M. von Reumont, Natural History Museum
Copyright: Dr Bjorn M. von Reumont, Natural History Museum.

Don’t be fooled by their adorable little legs and slender abdomen, these blind, water-dwelling creatures are in fact venom-filled liquefying machines.

This strange creature that belongs to its own class of crustaceans, the remipedia, is the first crustacean to be identified as venomous.

The remipede feeds by breaking down its prey’s body tissue with its venom and then sucks out a runny meal from its prey’s exoskeleton.

Recently researchers from the Natural History Museum have detailed the makeup of this creature’s venom, helping us understand evolutionary relationships and also potentially having far reaching medical implications.

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