Monday, April 2, 2012

nature journal: triops

he is majorly consumed by tiny creatures these days.  after a couple trial and error attempts with triops and various brands of bottled water, we successfully hatched a batch, but i think he overfed them.  ooops.  they are much more sensitive than the kid friendly packaging indicates.  he got the book below at the library yesterday and discovered he can catch tiny creatures in the pond behind our place.  that's what he and jeremiah did yesterday.  all kinds of tiny creatures.  he's making a "micro zoo."  this book is fabulous, by the way.  i would highly suggest it if you have a kid enamoured with the great outdoors.

triops are actually quite fascinating creatures.  sometimes referred to as tadpole shrimp, they are members of the class "branchiopoda" which means "lung or gill foot."  how would you like to go to the podiatrist to get your bronchial tubes checked out?  i kid!  the name "triops' comes from their three eyes.  two of those are for avoiding predators and the third on top of their heads is for monitoring the light source so they always know which end is up as they flip around in search of food.  these shrimpy aquatic opticians are amazing acrobats.  now say that three times fast!  one species, t. cancriformis, is considered the oldest known living animal species.  their fossils date back 200 million years!  triops tend to live in ponds and puddles.  due to their temporal habitats, they have a very short lifespan counted in days, but their eggs can survive in a dried out state for years and even decades.

if you are interested in reading more on the triops do go here.  it's a fabulous website and so very thorough. 

1 comment:

  1. FYI brine shrimp are quite hardy. And they start out very small and will get rather large!