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Amphipods

When I was out looking at freshwater invertebrates this past weekend I found this VERY pregnant female freshwater Gammarus, which is an amphipod crustacean genus in the family Gammaridae. The female is definitely having some difficulty getting around because of how many offspring she has in her brood pouch. I watched her for a while and hoped she would "give birth," but no luck. Amphipods don't give birth the way humans do - instead she will release her offspring the next time she molts (sheds her skin in order to grow). If you look very closely, you can see all the little ones moving around in her brood pouch - they are getting ready to swim freely!


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