● The rare creatures, dubbed 'fairy shrimps', were found by a group of engineers in Jiangsu this week
● An expert says they are actually different from modern shrimps despite being similar in appearance
● Fossils indicate the ancestors of the species existed 530 million years ago in the Cambrian Period
● Their eggs can survive being boiled and remain in soil for years before hatching, the expert explains
One of them, Liu Caikun, said he and his colleagues first saw several tadpoles in the pond on Tuesday and caught them.After putting them into a bucket, they discovered there were 'shrimps' swimming alongside the tadpoles, all sporting red tails.'We looked up some information online and thought they looked like fairy shrimps,' Mr Liu added.An expert has confirmed to MailOnline that the creatures in question were indeed fairy shrimps.
Zhao Li, the director of the Insect Museum of West China, said the crustaceans were given the nickname because of their colourful looks, but they are actually different from modern shrimps despite being similar in appearance.Mr Zhao explained that fairy shrimps belong to the Anostraca genus, and unlike shrimps which fall under the Decapoda genus, they don't have shells on their heads or in front of their chests.In addition, most fairy shrimps are found to have 11 pairs of legs while modern shrimps have eight.
Zhao Li, the director of the Insect Museum of West China, has found a 530-million-year-old fossil believed to be of the ancestors of fairy shrimps. This means the creatures are likely to have started.Tlierrifying moment tiger pursuesving on earth far earlier than the dinosaursy shrimps have a unique 'stroke' because they swim with their bellies up. Mr Zhao said: 'The discovery of fairy shrimps in Lianyungang means that the freshwater in the area is clean and without contamination of heavy metals and pesticides' shrimps were categorised as a new species in China after being discovered in the province of Yunnan in 2008.
According to the expert, fairy shrimps have a short life span of two to three months and live in seasonal water bodies.
Their eggs are said to have 'tenacious vitality'. They are able to remain in soil for a few year before hatching infreshwater, and can even survive being boiled.
'Because they have these "skills", they lived through the Cretaceous Period when the dinosaurs went extinct andstarted to thrive again after the Ice Age,' Mr Zhao said.
He added that he had found two fossils in museums, which are believed to be of the ancestors of fairy shrimps,and they dated back about 530 million years to the Cambrian Period.
This means the creatures are likely to have started living on earth far earlier than the dinosaurs, which appeared roughly 245 million years ago.
Mr Zhao also pointed out that fairy shrimps have a unique 'swimming stroke' because they move with their bellies facing up.
Terrifying moment tiger pursues And apparently the creatures are also very picky in the water they inhabmotorcyclist through wildlife park it.
Mr Zhao said: 'The discovery of fairy shrimps in Lianyungang means that the freshwater in the area is clean andwithout contamination of heavy metals and pesticides.'
Fairy shrimps were categorised as a new species in China after being discovered in the province of Yunnan in 2008.
Since then, they have been spotted around China in provinces including Henan, Hebei, Sichuan and Xinjiang.
Share or comment on this article: The 'shrimps' that are older than dinosaurs: Prehistoric crustaceans date back 500 million years.