Many people like to have pets. Pets bond with humans, and are known to be a relaxing factor in our lives. As much as people like to have pets, some don’t want to (or cannot devote time to) taking care of the pets. Pets after all need feeding, bathing, cleaning up after, and medical attention. Which is why some people choose to have fishes as pets. Fishes can be fed easily, require only periodic cleaning (which can be outsourced), and little medical attention.

What if there another pet that you could have that didn’t require as much devotion and care as cats/dogs and could be taken care of as easily as fishes? What is even more wonderful about these pets is that they are living fossils, being as old as more than 200 million years old. This is the time when the forefathers of dinosaurs were first seen, making them older than dinosaurs as well.

Known as Triops, they are crustaceans and are even called tadpole shrimps on account of their resemblance to both (tadpoles and shrimps). There is a neat ‘trick’ called diapause they use to live so long. When there is a shortage of water, the eggs enter a state of dormancy. In other words, they become inactive. In this stage, they can tolerate temperatures up to 98 degrees C, which is close to the boiling point of water. Once their eggs are immersed in sufficient amount of water for close to 24 hours, they hatch. Otherwise they are for many practical purposes, indestructible. You can order a jar of eggs online, and hatch them in your own aquarium.

triopseggs
Notice the pink eggs

 

Once they hatch and mature, they can produce sexually, so you don’t need to buy more eggs. Females are known to be able to undergo self-fertilization, requiring no sperm of the male to fertilize their eggs before laying them. This is what a young tadpole shrimp looks like.

800px-Triops_longicaudatus2

And this is what an adult looks like.

Triops_australiensis_belly

After hatching they can double their size in 24 hours, growing up to a maximum of 4 inches long. This is a picture of them with a human hand for scale and comparative reference.

triopshand
image via cracked.com

 

I personally find them amazing, as to how they are able sleep through unfavorable conditions and they hatch out when sufficient water is available. Plus they look pretty neat too.

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9 thoughts on “Triops: 200 million years old indestructible pets

  1. Very informative and yes perfect for pets. But, but, but, I would still not want to have them as pets. Not even by my closest neighbours. I can may be order a bottle of eggs online and send it across to my creepy-crawlie crazy friend Hrishikesh. 😛

  2. They look scary :O At the same time the tadpole Shrimp looks weirdly nice. This is one post that gives me mixed feelings. Creepy! 😀 I’m lost.

  3. they are really amazing…my daughter got some for Christmas and I didn’t believe that something that started out in a bag of, what looked like dirt and grass could actually hatch into something so cool!!! Four of ours have hatched and they seem to be reproducing. They are so full of energy and seem to either, like playing in the sand at the bottom of the tank, or, they want out! badly! ….lol

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