Natural Habitat of Triops

Triops are very remarkable and interesting animals. They are primitive freshwater branchiopods under the phylum Arthropoda. To date, there are at least 15 known species of Triops living in almost every continent except Antartica. The most common species is the American Triops longicaudatus, which notably are available in the public market to be bred as pets.

These animals have been in existence ever since the Triassic period – a period when the first dinosaurs, reptiles and mammals roamed the ancient earth. In concept, Triops, particularly the European Triops cancriformis, are known as the oldest living animal species.

Ever since the primitive ages, Triops have always been fresh water animals which live in temporary water pools. There has never been a record stating the presence of Triops in sea waters. The Triops, however old they may be, have a very simple life cycle and are essentially short-lived animals.

Since Triops thrive in small and temporary pools, these areas and consequently the Triops themselves are generally dependent to its surrounding temperature. During the rainy seasons, ponds and pools are formed in various parts of an area. It is during such that the Triops thrive in these habitats. In addition, Triops tend to live in areas where the ponds are generally warmer.

As they thrive in their habitats, Triops normally would grow only up to two to three inches in length. Remarkably, there was a certain Triops holding the record of having the longest body length. It was a wild Triops canciformis which measured up to 4.5 inches.

Usually, the Triops’ temporary occupation in pools only lasts for about one to two months, and when the water dries up the Triops eventually molt and die. However, their eggs are left and these undergo a process called diapause. This process essentially stops all of their internal activities and leaves the eggs at suspended animation.

It particularly gets fascinating since the dry season may last up to years or even decades but in spite of this, the eggs remain intact, only waiting for enough rainfall to form. When such a time comes, when the rainy season again causes ponds and pools to form, the eggs hatch and another cohort of Triops thrive in the waters.

Triops are Omnivorous Animals »