Shield Shrimp (Triops australiensis)
Shield Shrimp is a member of the order Notostraca (also referred to as
notostracans), which are small crustaceans in the class Branchiopoda. Also
commonly called Triops, tadpole shrimp or shield shrimp, these strange looking
creatures have not changed their appearance since the Triassic period, over 220
million years ago. They can be considered as one of the oldest living animal
species on earth.
The shield shrimp belong to a group of crustaceans that are
adapted to the arid outback conditions and found living in ephemeral pools,
claypans and temporary waterholes. The eggs are drought resistant, blown about
by the winds, then when the right conditions occur, such as heavy and flooding
rain, they hatch and live through an accelerated life cycle1.
The following images were taken at Palm Valley after a heavy period of rain
swept through the region.