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Nature & Environment

Ancient species of shrimp discovered

By T.K. Randall
July 30, 2010 · Comment icon 13 comments

Image Credit: jurvetson
A rare shrimp that could be the oldest animal species on the planet has been found alive and well in Scotland.
Based on fossil evidence the tadpole shrimp is believed to be unchanged in over 200 million years, the animals live in temporary water pools where they lay their eggs which can hatch years later when the conditions are wet enough again.
Two colonies of the tadpole shrimp, Triops cancriformis, were found at Caerlaverock on the Solway Coast of Dumfriesshire. Experts think there could be more "hidden" populations of the crustacean – a designated endangered species – elsewhere.

Source: Scotsman | Comments (13)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #4 Posted by Abramelin 14 years ago
That's an interesting find. Long ago I read in a book about desert fauna of some desert shrimp in America, also a 'living fossil' : vernal tadpole shrimp / Lepidurus packardi .
Comment icon #5 Posted by Paracelse 14 years ago
Water bears are awesomeness incarnate. That's one weird looking shrimp. Break out the garlic and butter I prefer cocktail sauce.. ketchup fresh lemon juice and horseradish.. lots of horseradish
Comment icon #6 Posted by Mandrake 14 years ago
Lovely part of the country too!
Comment icon #7 Posted by village_idiot 14 years ago
The shrimps are adapted to living in temporary water pools. When the water dries up, the adults die but leave behind eggs that can remain dormant for years until wet conditions return. That's way cool...
Comment icon #8 Posted by j b 14 years ago
i wonder if they are tasty? haha, great news though... makes me think that just maybe EARTH isnt as bad off as everyone thinks to have a species last that long...
Comment icon #9 Posted by Druidus-Logos 14 years ago
That's way cool... Water bears are so much cooler: "Tardigrades are polyextremophiles and are able to survive in extreme environments that would kill almost any other animal. Some can survive temperatures of -273°C (-460 °F) , close to absolute zero,[5] temperatures as high as 151 °C (303 °F), 1,000 times more radiation than other animals,[6] and almost a decade without water.[7] In September 2007, tardigrades were taken into low Earth orbit on the FOTON-M3 mission and for 10 days were exposed to the vacuum of space. After they were returned to Earth, it was discovered that many of them su... [More]
Comment icon #10 Posted by HybridGS 14 years ago
These things are common. (plus 200 million years is a exageration, the old reported figure was 70 million). It was these creatures that the original 'predator' from the movies was based on (the mandibles) etc, i read something with the original concept artist stating that he 'had a dream about a humanoid creature with Mandibles, much like the tadpole shrimp'.
Comment icon #11 Posted by kobolds 14 years ago
I prefer cocktail sauce.. ketchup fresh lemon juice and horseradish.. lots of horseradish it doesn't look like there much meat
Comment icon #12 Posted by Druidus-Logos 14 years ago
it doesn't look like there much meat Yeah, it looks like most of their body mass is exoskeleton, and being as small as they are, they aren't really worth extracting the meat from.
Comment icon #13 Posted by icet925 14 years ago
I would love to hatch some of these in my 10 gallon tank 10 gallon might be too small though...

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