Triops Thorax

With regard to the thorax, the upper part is consisted of 11 segments, each having a pair of appendages commonly known as thoracopods. These thoracopods are flat leaf-like phyllopods which serve in assisting the Triops in feeding, respiration and movement. The first thoracopod however, may have the same parts as with others but actually differs in function and morphology. It acts as a sensory structure for the Triops and consists of four endites which are long-antenna-like flagella. The most distant endite is the longest, while the one located closest at the proximal side is the shortest.

Furthermore, the remaining thoracopods can be seen through four perspectives: proximal, medial, distal and lateral. These thoracopods are consisted of several endites. The proximal endite is characterized by gnathobases that are sturdy and fortified spines. When the Triops come in contact with a prey, these antenna-like flagella detect them. The Triops then jumps onto it, covers it with its carapace, and consumes it.

Below the proximal part, just before the lateral part can be found the gill which is a teardrop-shaped structure. Also found at the distal part is the endopod, which is basically an endite but only more pronounced and bigger than the others.

Also located at the trunk is the abdomen which is consisted of at least 5 to 14 rings, do not have appendages. In spite of this, the posterior part of the trunk known as the telson bears the caudal furca, which essentially are two long, whip-like rami. Between the rami can be found the Triopsí anus.

For females, the 11th pair of appendages is used as brood pouches. A structure called the protopod forms a hollow wherein the exopod is the cover. These structures do not have the same functions in the male anatomy.

As with the internal anatomy of the Triops, it is quite difficult to observe from the outside. Found at the dorsal part of the thorax is the heart, a long tube which beats at a frequency of 120 to 240 beats per minute.

With regard the Triopsí digestive tract, the mouth is connected to a short and vertical esophagus that then leads to the stomach; all of which are located in the head. At the other end, the intestines can very well be seen inside the anusí opening.

Triops to undergo a process called Parthogenesis »