What are triops? Are they insects? fish? No, triops are a small crustacean, sometimes called the tadpole shrimp. They are considered to be living fossils, some species having remained unchanged for over 180 million years. The reason that they make good pets is that their eggs can remain viable even when completely dried out. It’s an evolutionary strategy that enables them to survive in areas when temporary pools exist, they feed and breed when the rains form pools and puddles and then survive as eggs when the pools dry out.

Toyops Deluxe Triops

Toyops Deluxe Triops

As you can see from the picture, this kit contains everything you need to get started with growing trips for yourself. They’re great for kids but equally good for adults too as they exhibit a whole range of biological traits that are useful to learn about, whatever your age. Take note of the tips from seasoned Triops keepers on the Amazon website to help your triops live longer and be healthier.

Triassic Triops Kit

Triassic Triops KitAnother comprehensive kit, containing Space Age Tank, 100 Triop Eggs, Triops Food, Conditioner/Nutrient, Magnifying Lens, Thermometer, Hatching Tray, Pipette, and Instructions. Good value as the large number of eggs means you’ll be able to rise generation after generation of Triops.

Aquasaurs by Uncle Milton


AquasaursWe’re not quite sure why Uncle Milton (creator of the original Ant Farm) chose to call his Triops kit Aquasaurs. Perhaps he knows something that we don’t. Anyhow this is a good kit with plenty of positive reviews. One tip though – use bottle water, never tap water as this will kill them.

Triops Hatchery


If you already have a triops tank then this is the ideal kit to hatch newborns and keep your stock replenished. This kit contains over eighty eggs so you’ll have plenty to keep you entertained. Kit includes: * Hatchery Dish * Baby Food * Adult Food * Dish of Eggs * Pipette * Directions for Ages 8 and up

The following snippet, from the estimable Wikipedia gives an idea of the evolutionary background of these fascinating creatures:

The genus Triops can be distinguished from the only other genus of Notostraca, Lepidurus, by the form of the telson, which bears a pair of long, thin caudal extensions in Triops, while Lepidurus bears a central platelike process. Triops are sometimes called “living fossils”. Fossils attributable to this genus have been found in rocks of Carboniferous age, 300 million years ago, and one extant species, Triops cancriformis, has hardly changed since the Jurassic period (approximately 180 million years ago). [edit]Life cycle

Most species reproduce sexually, but some populations are dominated by hermaphrodites which produce internally fertilised eggs. Reproduction in T. cancriformis varies with latitude, with sexual reproduction dominating in the south of its range, and parthenogenesis dominating in the north. Triops eggs enter a state of extended diapause when dry, and will tolerate temperatures of up to 98 °C (208 °F) for 16 hours, whereas the adult cannot survive temperatures above 34°C (93°F) for 24 hours or 40 °C (104°F) for 2 hours. The diapause also prevents the eggs from hatching too soon after rain; the pool must fill with enough water for the dormancy to be broken.

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