Hello to all! Today we'd like to introduce you to a very little known animal species. Triops cancriformis, or tadpole shrimp, is a species of tadpole shrimp found in Europe to the Middle East and India. Due to habitat destruction, many populations have recently been lost across its European range, so, the species is considered endangered in the United Kingdom and in several European countries. Tadpole shrimps can be up to 10cm long when fully grown and have a broad oval shell at their front end and a long slender abdomen, giving them a tadpole-like shape.
This species is considered to be one of the oldest living species on the planet at around 200 million years old. Hold up…how old?! That's right, you read that correctly. This now endangered species has been around for 200 millionnnn years. They live in temporary stands of water and their eggs can survive for a long time in dry sediment. In fact you may have encountered Triops 'kits' in shops - packets of eggs and food from which you can hatch your own small Triops as pets. These are often marketed as 'from the age of the dinosaurs' or 'prehistoric sea monsters.' Pretty flippin cool.