Fish and other pets that live in water may be some of the easiest pets to care for, often making them ideal first pets for children. Although pets that live in water need their habitats strictly maintained, these pets typically are not as high maintenance as dogs, cats or birds.
Apart from traditional aquarium fish, there’s another aquatic animal that can be both entertaining and foster a love of learning in children. Sea-Monkeys® are novelty pets that can be raised and hatched.
Sea-Monkeys are real animals, but they have no legitimate connection to primates. Sea-Monkey is a brand name that was given to these tiny crustaceans when kits of eggs and food were marketed beginning in the late 1950s. Because these crustaceans had tails, the inventor, Harold von Braunhut, decided it would be fun to refer to them as Sea-Monkeys.
Sea-Monkeys are a variety of artemia, which are crustaceans like brine shrimp. These animals are formed from eggs that can exist for long periods of time out of water. It’s called cryptobiosis or anhydrobiosis, a condition of apparent lifelessness. In the wild, this helps the artemia survive the drying out of the temporary pools of water in which they live.
Artemia grow rapidly and go through several stages of life, molting between each one. They can reach adulthood in just over a week under the right conditions, but that progression can sometimes take up to six weeks. Artemia require little maintenance except for a feeding every few days, as they generally take care of themselves.
According to ExploraToy, the company that sells Sea-Monkeys, the artemia are a special lab-modified creature that does not exist in nature. They were designed to hatch and grow quickly, but to actually live longer than the shrimp would in the wild so they’d be interesting as pets. Artemia are interesting little animals. The following are some additional tidbits about artemia.
•Artemia are born with just one eye, but grow two more upon reaching maturity.
•Artemia are attracted to light. Kids can attract their attention by shining a flashlight and watching the artemia swim toward the light.
•Artemia breathe through their feet.
•Male artemia have whiskers under their chins, while females do not.
•Females can fertilize their own eggs in a process known as “parthenogenesis.”
Families who want an interesting and easy-tomaintain pet may want to consider Sea-Monkeys.