Shrimp in the Road

Perris Travel Blog

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Transmission lines extend to the horizon across the open spaces of Riverside County, California
Today I got out into the field for once! After long months of rotting in the office, a rare visit to survey an electrical transmission line route across Riverside County.

The focus was on searching for a couple endangered fairy shrimp species. Fairy shrimp are a really ancient little creature that live in pools and puddles the form during the winter rains. Within a couple weeks of the pool filling, it can bloom with these little shrimp.

They can reproduce within days, but may only live a couple weeks before the puddle dries up. Their secret is laying eggs, actually cysts, that can survive months, or even years out of the water. Eggs embedded in sediments have been revived after hundreds of years in some species! They're left over from the dinosaur times, closely related to the trilobites you see a lot of times as fossils.

Well, this first day we headed about two hours north of home and searched about a hundred pools. So far, only Lindahl's fairy shrimp, the most common of the species. Also lots of tadpoles of a rare toad, the Western Spadefoot, another specialist in breeding in puddles.
cneoridium says:
Mostly just look at them in the pools, they don't survive well outside of their puddles.
Posted on: Jul 23, 2010
Tamanawas says:
Thanks for the nature lesson! ;) Did you keep these creatures for a home aquarium?!?
Posted on: Jul 22, 2010
cneoridium says:
In this case, since the road is going to be graded... every single pool! There are almost 200 that we've mapped over the 70 miles. Makes a really long day... but it's kind of interesting.
Posted on: Mar 21, 2010
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Transmission lines extend to the h…
Transmission lines extend to the …
Heres why the shrimp are endanger…
Here's why the shrimp are endange…
Sampling in roadside ruts on a bac…
Sampling in roadside ruts on a ba…
More fairy shrimp in emerge from t…
More fairy shrimp in emerge from …
Poking at the water brings schools…
Poking at the water brings school…
Fat, happy spadefoot toad tadpole.…
Fat, happy spadefoot toad tadpole…
The famous apple rock off Highway …
The famous apple rock off Highway…
I like it!
I like it!
A typical shrimp pool - the good p…
A typical shrimp pool - the good …
Emerald green spots flashing in th…
Emerald green spots flashing in t…
A HUGE Lindahls fairy shrimp, the…
A HUGE Lindahl's fairy shrimp, th…
The beginning of a big bloom this …
The beginning of a big bloom this…
What vernal pools are supposed to …
What vernal pools are supposed to…
Hard to see, but here are the ghos…
Hard to see, but here are the gho…
I think its lambing season, there…
I think it's lambing season, ther…
Perris
photo by: cneoridium