Mood: pleased, happy
It is amazing to see how fast Athena the Triops has grown. Last week, I was ready to throw in the towel. Now I have one pretty large triops in my peanut butter jar. There really were two but Athena ate her (triops are cannibalistic). It is beautiful to see her swim around. She propels herself around with a bunch of little legs/gills that make this hypnotic rippling motion. Athena can swim quite rapidly around in rapid bursts of movement and when she picks up a piece of food, she spins it with her legs while she eats it. She also has frontal appendages that look like they have fingers.
For the first few days, Athena was small and white so I had to believe she was somewhere in there even if I couldn't actually see her. Now she is pretty noticable with her rapid swimming, long forked tail, red spine and grayish-red carapace. I can even see her eyes now. When she is not swimming around she is digging in the detrius at the bottom of the tank which is composed mainly of her moulted carapaces, the remains of her former tankmate, food, poop, and eggs that she has laid. Did I mention that not only are triops mainly female, but they are parthenogenic (just like the mythical Athena) and when the fresh water pools they naturally live in dry up, they go into diapause (suspended animation) until the water returns?
Having a little Athena swimming around a few feet from my computer is really inspiring now that I can see her. I can't explain how fascinating it is to watch her swim around. I used to have goldfish and a tropical fish aquarium when I was younger but there is something so much more interesting about triops. Perhaps it has to do with the hatching her and watching her grow, but it probably has more to do with how exotic-looking she is. Athena also seems to be way more intelligent-looking than any fish. Let's face it, fish are pretty but there is nothing behind their eyes. Triops didn't get to be the oldest animal species on earth- 220 million years and counting- by being dumb.
I'll try and get a picture up of Athena in the near future but she is so quick it is hard to get a good one.