Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Fun with Triops

 We're starting the New Year with some new pets: Triops. My first thoughts about these creatures is that my parents really should have let us have these when we were kids.

They instantly stop fights because the parent just says, "Look at the Triops."
"What are the Triops doing?" 
"Are the Triops still alive?"
"Have the Triops grown so much that they're going to eat your head off?"
 and the kid is immediately distracted. They're also much more entertaining at breakfast than reading the backs of cereal boxes (which is what we did when we were kids when we weren't throwing dirty looks at each other).

 Every day I wonder if the Triops are still alive in their slightly murky water. Why is the water murky? Maybe because my husband feeds them hamburger. Maybe because I give them a little carrot once in awhile. Maybe because we couldn't resist adding some sand to the bottom, and the water has never been quite the same since.

Fortunately, Triops are quite hardy. They lived when the dinosaurs lived. Whatever killed the dinosaurs, the Triops survived. It probably helped that their eggs can be dormant for up to 30 years. 

 The above photo was taken a couple weeks later than the first two, and the Triops has grown in size, to almost half an inch. It's really cool looking.

 They live in our water pitcher, for perspective. And to future house guests: if you see this water pitcher on the table, DO NOT drink from it unless you ask first. I'm not sure what Triops taste like, but I imagine the sensation of something going down your throat and wiggling its way into your stomach is not pleasant.

 We have one Triops that looks like a classic Triops, and then we have a bunch of these shrimpy-looking things (as my friend Anna calls them. And a million thanks to Anna for starting us on our Triops adventure!). I should do a little research and figure out what they are, but when I did the research before, I didn't get much past the part where you could add sand and feed them carrots on weekends.

Photographing Triops has proven to be a challenge. This one looks like it's ready to jump out of the pitcher and attack.

Don't you want some? We need some Triops penpals!


jhami said...

That is so cool! I almost got some fish at Knoll Springs, but Triops would be so much cooler.... lol
I bet the kids love to watch em!
Wow! I'll have to come see them

gs said...

Remember what happened to your goldfish?

The Incredible Woody said...

Cool! I think we need some around here:)

Anonymous said...

Ooo! Those look like fun! I think I need to research these too, and see if they would be easier to keep than fish (I hate cleaning fish tanks). Where did you get yours?

Swati said...

These are so cool! What is their lifespan like?

Desert Survivor said...

So far the Triops have been a really easy pet to keep. My husband did change out some of their water, but it wasn't hard. We got ours from a friend who had a packet of Triops eggs--you can find them online or at various stores (I saw them in Michael's craft store). They are supposed to live 20-90 days. Then new ones will emerge and start the process all over again.

Unknown said...

Hi there. We got our first triops a couple of weeks ago. One is the "classic" triops, one was shrimps like but died yesterday :-(
I also have 3 white, long triops with eyes on the side, similar to the picture on the top. Any idea what they are?
Also, I believe I need a couple to get eggs that can hatch, right?

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