Arthropods dominate our seas, land, and air and have done so for hundreds of millions of years. Among the arthropods the crustaceans present us with an extremely rich history of morphological change, much of which is still represented among extant forms (morphological disparity among the crustaceans is much higher than in any other group of arthropods). With regard to the Crustacea, several characteristics of the amphipod crustacean embryo make it particularly well suited to embryological manipulations. These include early holoblastic (complete) cleavage coupled with early cell division asymmetries that facilitate microinjection. The high diversity of crustacean taxa near Carrie Bow Cay presents a unique opportunity to extend previous findings in laboratory strains of the amphipod Parhyale hawaiensis. In addition, the exploration of standing genetic variation in natural populations may yield important clues in the search for mechanisms by which genes influence organismal development and sculpt morphology through time. The principal collection sites are at south Twin Cays (Twin Bays, Hidden Creek), Manatee Cay (Pelican Cays), and outside the barrier reef near Carrie Bow Cay.
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