Tuesday, January 17, 2012

About Sea Monkeys

As you probably guessed, Sea Monkeys are not monkeys at all. They are actually a crustacean known as brine shrimp. 

Brine shrimp were marketed as pets in 1957 under the name Instant Life, the name was changed to Sea Monkeys in 1962.

Initial packaging showed them as being almost human like, or I should say monkey like, often wearing crowns or carrying little pitchforks.  Many children (and some parents) were disappointed to see nothing like their depiction.

How to Care for Sea Monkeys as Pets
Sea Monkeys require special water conditioning, and cannot survive in simple tap water. They need water that has chlorine removed, and salt added. When purchased as “Sea Monkeys” they come with packages for conditioning the water and adding salt. It is actually recommended to leave water out for 24 hours to reach room temperature and to naturally evaporate the chlorine before the “Water Purifier” package is added.

Sea Monkeys are also sold as eggs with instructions and food which is yeast and spirulina algae.

Interesting Facts on Brine Shrimp

The variety of brine shrimps sold as Sea Monkeys is a hybrid known scientifically as Artemia NYOS.

Brine Shrimp have been around for millions of years, and are very much unchanged from the Triassic time.

Brine Shrimp eat algae which turn them pink, eating them is what turns flamingos pink.

Brine Shrimp live about one year.

Brine Shrimp eggs can survive two years if hatching conditions are not right.

Brine Shrimp are often fed, life, freeze dried, or frozen, to fish.

Brine Shrimp are a very unusual type of animal; they can enter a state of self preservation where they can be dried up, and can revive themselves when conditions are more favorable to life. For example, brine shrimp living in Botswana live in ponds that dry up for part of the year, they remain dormant – virtually dead, until water returns to their pond.