Feeding Behavior

The feeding behavior of the tadpole shrimps is almost similar to the ancient crustacean. The anterior appendages help to stir the sediments and spin the muddy water into mid ventral food channel. While the inner facing lobes help in the movement of the food to the mouth, the outward facing lobes at the base of the leg will stir and lift the sediments. Apart from the movement of food, the inward facing lobes also help in tearing the coarse food particles into smaller pieces.

Many crustaceans have antennae that act like a sensory organ. However, tadpole shrimps do not have these antennae and their first pair of legs is often misunderstood for the same. The first pair of legs performs the function of the sensory organs in the tadpole shrimps.

Tadpole shrimps contain a pair of internal compound eyes and a naupliar eye in between. Many think that tadpole shrimps have excellent eye sight because of 3 eyes. The fact is that they do not use their eye sight for finding food. They use it only to detect the light. Triops respond to light very well. If you grow Triops in one container at home, you can observe that the nauplus larvae will get collected towards the light. In crustaceans usually, the adults would avoid light, but Triops are different, even the adults would like to respond to light. Also another interesting experiment will demonstrate the behavior of Triops towards light. Observe the movements of the Triops in the tank in a well lighted room and then turn off the lights. Use a flash light and light the bottom or any side of the tank, the Triops will move towards the light and think that the side of the tank from which the light appears as the top of the container.

Anatomy of Triops »