What are Aqua Dragons?
Aqua Dragons are live aquatic creatures with a scientific name, Artemia Salina from the crustacea family, their eggs have an amazing natural capacity called cryptobiosis which allows them to stay alive but hibernating in a dried state only to hatch many years later.
Aqua Dragons have been living in the sea and in salty lakes on the earth for millions of years including while dinosaurs roamed the earth!
Their very efficient way of living and reproducing has enabled them to arrive to today’s day almost exactly as they were millions of years ago. Tests have found that eggs kept in air sealed containers for up to 20 years still hatched when they were returned to water.
So the Aqua Dragons are real little time travelers which you can hatch and grow at home, waking them up from their hibernation in a lovely cave decorated underwater world tank
In the wild Aqua Dragons (Artemia Salina) still live in salty lakes, they only eat microscopic algae particles, which they do by foraging and filtering along tiny hair like structures on their legs which they move in a rythymic mantoray motion as they swim. They can also drilling down into sediment on the bottom of the habitat, or by scraping food off surfaces such as of rocks. The food is them moved up the legs in a sweeping movement and into the mouth, yum!
What do they look like?
Each Aqua Dragon has three eyes, a set of two fins which work like gills to breathe and eat with as well as guide their swimming in the water. The males have a mane on their heads (which reminds me of stag horns) which they use to hold the female when mating. The females are longer and are often seen with a bulb on their backs which are actually a egg sacks, they´re pregnant and carrying their babies with them!
What do Aqua Dragons do?
They eat, swim, fight, reproduce, lay eggs or they give birth to their babies and much more… They have a lot of different ways of behaving, you can see what they do and what it means in the diagram below:
How’s their life cycle?
You can observe their life cycle in this diagram.
The egg has a strong shell that takes 24 hours to break through, releasing a nauplii which is an artemia salina in its larval stage. The larvae emerge swimming and growing rapidly and after a few more weeks it grows into a young adult.
How long do they live, will they reproduce?
If you take good care of your Aqua Dragons they could live up to 6 months each, it will depend in the conditions of water, light and temperature, but if they have good conditions, they will even reproduce in the tank. All animals have an end of the life cycle, but don’t be sad that´s nature. If that happens, leave the tank in direct sun until the water completely evaporates. When the tank is empty, fill it with water again and hatch those Aqua Dragons eggs that the females were carrying on their backs!