Brine shrimp, Artemia franciscana, are neat little aquatic crustaceans. According to the University of Utah, these tiny creatures grow to about 1cm in length. They are a favorite meal choice of some migratory birds and they are often sold for use as food for fish destined for human consumption.
Christopher Melendez, a graduate student in the lab of Dr. Casey Mueller at California State University San Marcos, presented his research on brine shrimp at the annual Experimental Biology conference this week. Brine shrimp can tolerate wide ranging salinity from 10-200 parts per thousand as well as wide ranges of environmental temperatures. They are not very good at developing in warm water, however. His research showed that brine shrimp did not survive longer than 30 days post hatch in 30degC water. Below that, the animals were able to compensate for temperature variations down to 10degC.