April 7, 2011 report
New shrimp species found in Queensland waterhole
(PhysOrg.com) -- With the torrential downpours in Queensland this year roadside waterholes are abundant, and it is in one of these waterholes that professor Brian Timms has discovered a new species of shrimp. This particular species, along with the other 25 possible new species found so far, would not have emerged without the heavy rains seen this year.
Timms, a professor at the University of New South Wales, is working with the Australian Wetlands and Rivers Centre. In a scientific paper waiting to be published, he discusses this new species of shrimp, known as fairy shrimp.
Fairy shrimps are a primitive crustacean that resides in temporary water, something that is currently in great abundance in the region right now. These shrimp filter feed on the algae within the water and lay eggs which sink into the mud of these temporary waterholes.
These eggs can then sit in the mud for years and years, essentially sleeping, only to then hatch the next time the waterhole fills up. This new species is only about two centimeters long.
Given the heavy rainfalls this year, the area is full of new waterholes and the potential to discover even more new species of fairy shrimp and clam shrimp is very high.
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