Hundreds of strange prehistoric creatures emerge from small eggs after heavy summer heavy rains in northern Arizona, around a temporary lake in a desert landscape, according to Wupatki National Monument officials. I started swimming.
These tadpole-sized creatures Triops “It looks like a small horseshoe crab with three eyes,” Lauren Carter, chief interpreter ranger at Wupatki National Monument, told Live Science. Their eggs dormant in the desert for decades until the freshly hatched pups mature and rain enough to create a lake that provides real estate and time to lay eggs for the next generation. can do. According to Central Michigan University..
TriopsThe appearance is so unusual that tourists reported seeing them in a lake filled with temporary rain (a circular wall structure 105 feet (32 meters) in diameter) inside the ceremonial ball court of the monument. When the monument staff didn’t know what to make, a creature.
“I knew there was water on the ball court, but I didn’t think there was anything living there,” Carter said, following the monsoon in late July. “Then a visitor came and said,’Hey, you have a tadpole on the ball court.’”
At first, Carter wondered ToadLiving in underground burrows during the dry season, appeared during a damp spell to lay eggs. To investigate, she went to a ball court originally built by the indigenous people of Upatoki.
“When I scooped it up with my hand, it felt like’what’s that?’. I didn’t understand,” he said. But then she felt familiar. Carter had previously worked in the Petrified Forest National Park in northeastern Arizona, Triops there. “Then I had to look it up,” she said.
Triops Latin for “three eyes” — sometimes called “dinosaur shrimp” for a long time Theory of evolution History; the ancestors of these crustaceans Devonian According to Central Michigan University (419-359 million years ago), its appearance has changed little since then. (Notable is dinosaur Until long after TriassicIt started about 252 million years ago. )
However, Triops They are not considered “living fossils” because they are not exactly the same as their ancestors.
“I don’t like the word’living fossil’because it misleads the general public that it hasn’t changed at all,” Carter said. “But they have changed and evolved, only that their appearance is very similar to what they looked like millions of years ago.”
There are two genera in the Triopsidae family — Triops When Lepidurus — Central Michigan University reported that it contained up to 12 species in total.The creatures found on the Upatoki Ball Court TriopsAccording to Carter, the species was found in a short-lived freshwater pond known as the Burnal Pool in North, Central and South America, but it requires scientific analysis to confirm it.
After hatching Triops According to Central Michigan University, it has a shield-like shell that looks like a miniature helmet and can grow up to 1.5 inches (4 centimeters) in length. Their eyes show them anger and wisdom at the same time — they have two large black-rimmed compound eyes (like dragonflies and bees) and small eyes or simple eyes between them. The arthropod eye is common in arthropods (a group that includes insects, crustaceans, and spiders) and is filled with simple photoreceptors that help these creatures detect light. According to the Association of Amateur Entomologists..
in this case, Triops At Wupatki National Monument, we were fortunate to have a short but heavy rain spell. According to Carter, Flagstaff, Arizona (only 30 miles or 50 kilometers south of the monument) typically rains about 9 inches (22.9 cm) a year. According to Carter, in 2020, Flagstaff was the driest monsoon summer on record, with only 4 inches (10.2 cm) of rain. However, last week and a half in July 2021, the area was hit by heavy rains of nearly 5 inches (12.7 cm).
in the meantime, TriopsEggs have hatched and small creatures may have started filter feeding within hours, according to Central Michigan University’s life cycle description. Like other crustaceans, they experienced some molting before they fully matured in just over a week.
Triops Males and females are usually paired for mating by sexual reproduction, but when there is a shortage, there are other means. These crustaceans are also hermaphroditic, meaning that they have both male and female sexual organs, which means parthenogenesis, that is, females can lay offspring from unfertilized eggs. According to BioKids, University of Michigan School of Education, University of Michigan Zoological Museum, Detroit Public School Partnership.
Triops Carter said he could live for up to 90 days, but the ball court pond lasted only three to four weeks. Almost immediately, a local bird noticed and she said that crows and nighthawks plunged into the water and devoured creatures.
I don’t know how many Triops I managed to lay eggs before the lake dried. The Rangers have to wait for the next monsoon to be found.
Originally published in Live Science.
Hundreds of third “dinosaur shrimp” appear after the Arizona monsoon
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