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(invertebrate zoology)
A primitive larval stage of certain decapod crustaceans characterized by seven pairs of appendages; follows the nauplius stage.



the larval stage of crustaceans that follows the nauplius. Crayfish in the metanauplius stage have their first three pairs of appendages, which perform the function of loco-motion. These appendages are converted into antennules and antennae, which perform a tactile function, and into mandibles, which serve to grind food. The metanauplius moves by means of new appendages. In Ostracoda a rudimentary shell appears in the metanauplius stage.

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