Caption: Brine shrimp egg / cyst (Artemia salina). Brine shrimps are aquatic crustaceans that live in a wide range of salt environments that are isolated from the ocean (such as the Great Salt Lake or in salt ponds). Artemia is the only genus in the family Artemiidae and have evolved little since the Triassic period. They adopt to life in temporary salt pools forming two sorts of eggs: "summer eggs" which develop rapidly from egg to adult and "encysted eggs" or "winter eggs" (seen here), which can withstand desiccation and survival at long periods of time. In dried conditions brine shrimp eggs are metabolically inactive (cryptobiosis) and can remain in total stasis for several years. Once salt water is introduced the eggs will develop in to full adults in a short period of time. Wild brine shrimp eat plankton algae for food. Brine shrimp are sold as commercial fish food.
Magnification*: x60
Type: SEM
Copyright 2009 Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.
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