Triops are very unusual creatures with two dark compound eyes and a third pale eye between them. That is why they are called triops for the three eyes (from the Greek, tri for three and ops for eyes). With these eyes they can detect food or predators very near to them. Triops eat algae, mosquito larva, tadpoles, fairy shrimp and other smaller and weaker triops! Triops make their natural homes in vernal pools called “potholes” where their life span is about 50-90 days. They are also called living fossils since they have been around since the time of the earliest dinosaurs (about 200 million years ago). They are relatives of trilobites and horseshoe crabs.
Our class is trying to raise these creatures from small eggs. We had a few hatch, but the flies that accidentally hatched in our worm factory ate the tiny hatched triops—what a catastrophe! This week we are going to try again since the flies are gone. We have to make sure the water temperature is right and this time cover the container so the flies eat no more!
By: Astrid, grade 3
image from commons.wikimedia.org