You will all be impressed (or repulsed) to know that the Sea-Monkey mating pair mentioned on Monday – let's call them Romeo and Juliet - is STILL at it! Juliet now sports an impressive egg sac, but Romeo is disinclined to rest on his laurels. Maybe he has claw cramps and can't let go. Whatever his motivation, all I can think when I look at her is a sympathetic "ouch."
On to the flip side of all this frenzied activity: Sea-Monkey mortality. I noticed earlier this week that we have a growing number of hollowed-out Sea-Monkey corpses collecting at the bottom of the tank. The Sea-Monkey Worship Site opines that mating may be hazardous to the males' health. I haven't examined the deaders to see whether they are male or female, but their demise did coincide with the appearance of spectacular egg sacs on several females.
Sea-Monkeys are not cannibals, so nobody is interested in the dead ones except as algae-encouragers. If I had ordered a $2.00 Sea-Monkey Aqua-Leash ("Here is a MUCH-NEEDED tool to SAFELY handle Sea-Monkeys! Over 8 ½" long, it's a Sea-Monkey 'picker-upper' that works by suction, and cannot injure even the biggest Sea-Monkeys that you can grow. BEST OF ALL, when not used to catch a little rascal to move him to another tank or for other reasons, it DOUBLES as a 'vacuum cleaner' to suction up the 'yuck' that settles on the bottom. Easy to operate, and SO USEFUL, you'll thank the day you got it."), I could remove them. Since I neglected to include one in my order of Sea-Monkey supplies (which has not yet arrived anyway), I think I'll just leave the little victims to the mercy of the microorganism food chain and see what happens. (Is it just me, or does the Aqua-Leash sound suspiciously like a turkey baster?)
The Sea-Monkey is a versatile breeder: viviparous or oviparous depending upon the circumstances. In the absence of males, they are even parthenogenic. It seems nothing can stop the proliferation of the Sea-Monkey species. Since no babies have appeared so far, I guess their gestation period is longer than you'd expect for a creature that grows to sexual maturity in three weeks.
Next week, when the tank water is a little clearer, I'll start taking the Ocean-Zoo to the window for periodic baby checks. I'm sure we all remember how difficult it was to view the current population in its infancy. Stay tuned!