General, Research, Technology

The oldest animal that has not yet died out. Who is it?

Most of the animals that lived side by side withhuge dinosaurs are already extinct. However, in Europe, the Middle East and India, you can still find creatures that appeared on our planet just at the time of the emergence of the first dinosaurs. We are talking about the so-called Triops cancriformis species, which have been living on Earth for more than 200 million years in a row. Despite their vitality and high prevalence, they have not yet been thoroughly studied. But scientists perfectly understand how these creatures manage to remain alive for such a long time. By itself, the duration of their life is not very long, but they are able to continue their race much better than many other living organisms. It seems that the whole purpose of their existence is to outlive all animals.

Meet the oldest living animal - the Shield

The most ancient animals

Shields of the Triops cancriformis species are considered the mostthe ancient living organisms. Thanks to their vitality, they even got into the Guinness Book of Records, and here's a confirmation. They appeared on our planet about 200 million years ago, in the Triassic period. At that time, North and South America, Africa and so on did not exist, because all the continents were united into one large supercontinent - Pangea. Ferns mainly grew on land, which fed some of the very first dinosaurs, insects and other living creatures.

200 million years ago, our planet looked like this

Shields were first discovered in 1801French naturalist Louis Bosc. At first he gave them the name Apus cancriformis, but the name of the genus Apus was taken by birds at that time. Disputes over how these creatures should be designated in the scientific literature have been going on for more than several hundred years. The final decision was made only in the 1950s. Since then, the tiny creatures have been referred to as Triops cancriformis and have been actively studied by scientists.

Shield appearance

For two hundred million years of its existence,the scutes of Triops cancriformis remained practically unchanged. They are small crustaceans with shields on their backs - hence the name. Their body length is usually about 12 centimeters, but some people grow them at home, in which the already tiny creatures cannot grow more than 6 centimeters. A rather vulnerable body with 70 pairs of limbs is hidden under a strong shell.

Read also: Why did the ancient inhabitants of the seas line up?

The secret of longevity

Shields owe their vitality to their uniqueway of life. They live exclusively in temporary fresh water bodies, such as puddles, ditches and ravines. Each generation of shittocks buries cysts in the ground, which are thin-coated embryos. They are resistant to droughts and temperature extremes, and a couple of days are enough for them to hatch. A couple of days are enough for them to turn into adults. And in adulthood, they again bury the embryos in the ground. They eat almost everything that is smaller than them, so they obviously do not suffer from hunger. As you can see, the shitties in all possible ways are trying to outwit nature and do not give themselves offense.

Recently, my colleague Lyubov Sokovikova spoke about the secrets of longevity. I recommend that you familiarize yourself with her material.

Extinction of animals

Unfortunately, human activities thataccompanied by the release of harmful substances and the destruction of the natural habitats of many animals, it got to these long-lived creatures. Just because of the destruction of their habitat, at the moment, the shtitniks are considered vulnerable animals in the UK and a number of other European countries. However, some scientists argue that these creatures can be found not only in Europe, the Middle East and India, but also in other regions of the planet. Except for the cold Antarctica, of course.

Sometimes shitty swim upside down and no one knows why

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Some people keep them at home.conditions. They and many scientists have noticed that sometimes these creatures like to swim upside down in the water, exposing their bodies. Why they do this is not clear to anyone. In general, this is very stupid of them, because swimming in this way in the wild, they make themselves noticeable to birds who are willing to feast on them with pleasure.

Shields in the aquarium

Most of the shields are not very good, butsome species are used in Asian countries to kill insects and weeds in rice fields. It turns out that in this region, these creatures have a great impact on the economy, allowing you to harvest a larger rice crop.