When I was back in Watertown for Thanksgiving, I decided to go through all of my old "Athena" notes. I figured since I am turning it into a novel right now, seeing the genesis of the idea would really be a help. One of the most important notes I found were the ones about Triops. Triops are one of the older living creatures and they are currently marketed as a form of "instant pet." An ex-girlfriend got a package and hatched some in the fall of 1998. She let me take one and it lived in a mason jar in my room and it lived for 2 months (they live for about 3 months). I had almost completely forgotten about the Triops but it was amazing to see how much they had inspired me.
I searched online for them and found a great website called MyTriops that is chock full of everything you could want to know about these creatures. The site inspired me to find a store nearby that sold Triops packets, so I bought one and now they are waiting to hatch in a peanut butter jar on my table. Total cost for Triops packet and distilled water: $6.50. That wouldn't even buy you a bag of cat food these days.
I'll keep you updated on the progress of my Triops farm.