Mysterious desert shrimp surfaces after deluge. See it here
Sunday, January 15, 2017, 3:30 PM - There is no shortage of strange creatures in Australia, especially when it comes to crustaceans.
In the remote town of Alice Springs in the country's Northern Territory, wildlife enthusiast Nick Morgan found a prehistoric creature known as Triops australiensis.
Also referred to as shield shrimp, it is a species that belongs to a group of crustaceans called "branchiopods," which means they have "gill feet" that enables them to breathe, according to Queensland Museum.
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Their eggs are quite resilient as they can stay dormant for up to seven years in desert conditions. They hatch after a bout of heavy rain, which triggers a population explosion, the Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife noted on Facebook.
"They can turn up in the absolute millions upon millions," expert Michael Barritt told ABC Radio Darwin. "These are eggs that can dry out and get blown by the wind. They deal with all the kinds of extreme temperatures that inland Australia gets, including high temperatures and low temperatures at night in the wintertime."
After hatching, shield shrimp feast on micro-organisms and bacteria in the water and will lay a new batch of eggs before arid conditions return.
Recent downpours in the Central Australia region have brought shield shrimp back to life, Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife's Facebook post reads. You can find these mysterious creatures at Redbank Waterhole in Owen Springs Reserve, Palm Valley in Finke Gorge National Park, and at Napwerte/Ewaninga Rock Carvings Conservation Reserve.
See more photos of the crustacean below.
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