Thursday, March 19, 2015

Our New Pets

 We were recently gifted some new pets by my brother and sister-in-law. Have you ever had these pets? They are sea monkeys! Otherwise known as brine shrimp. Sea monkeys have been marketed since 1961, when they were called Instant Life. The next year, their promoter, Harold Von Braunhut, invented the term sea monkeys because their long tail somehow looked like a monkey tail. Sea monkeys were marketed extensively in comic books.

We received a little tank that we filled with water and then added a packet of water conditioner (basically salt). The next day we added sea monkey eggs. The brine shrimp have a life cycle that includes cryptobiosis or anhydrobiosis, which is basically an inert state that allows them to withstand drying up, like they might encounter out in real life when a puddle dries up. That's the reason they can be shipped around the country (and even to the moon!) and then hatch when they're put in water. According to Wikipedia (which has more interesting information), the sea monkeys we have are not found out in nature. They're a hybridized version called Artemia NYOS (New York Ocean Science).

As far as pets go, they're easy to care for. We add water and food about once a week. We go look at them occasionally. And I had some fun doing a photoshoot (they move fast, so it's hard to capture them!).  And they're much smaller than they look in these photos--about a half-inch long full grown.

Thanks to my brother and sister-in-law for enriching our lives. We will be sure to reciprocate. Although we might send a pet that's a little larger, like our other pet, who happens to wag his tail quite a lot.

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