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Sea monkeys make a fun and interesting pet that is sure to entertain the entire family. Despite their name, sea monkeys are not actually monkeys at all but are a type of genetically modified shrimp. They come in a freeze-dried form and come to life when dumped into water.
After maturing, sea monkeys tend to float around on their own, but oftentimes you might see them sticking together. If this happens, it’s nothing to worry about.
What Does it Mean When Sea Monkeys Stick Together?
If you’ve noticed that your sea monkeys are stuck together, it could mean one of two things. It is either two males fighting for the attention of the female, or it’s a male and a female mating.
A good way to tell the difference is by checking to see whether they have whiskers under their chin. If they do, they are males.
If two sea monkeys are stuck together but only one has whiskers, it is a female and male sea monkey mating. When you see sea monkeys stuck together, don’t try and pull them apart as this could seriously hurt them.
Sea monkeys also tend to get stuck together after they are born, but will eventually pry themselves apart from one another.
Another way to tell between male and female sea monkeys is that most females will have a hump. This is the sac they use to carry their babies. Female sea monkeys are much like seahorses in that they don’t need a male to fertilize their eggs.
Caring for Sea Monkeys
After purchasing sea monkeys, you may be wondering what the proper way is to take care of them. Sea monkeys are relatively easy to maintain and can live happily in a tank.
Typically, sea monkey kits come with a tank of their own, but if your kit doesn’t have one, you can always use a regular fish tank, so long as it can hold at least two liters.
Be sure to aerate the air in your sea monkey tank as this helps produce more oxygen in the water. The water that you use in the tank is also important.
Be sure to use distilled water or water from a water bottle as tap water contains chlorine and other chemicals that can be harmful to sea monkeys. Your sea monkey’s water should also always be kept at room temperature.
Most sea monkey kits also come with a water purifier that you will need to add to the water. Be sure to leave the water sitting for 36 hours before you add your sea monkeys in.
The kits also come with sea monkey food, which you should give them every few days. However, try not to overfeed your sea monkeys because this could easily kill them.
Sea monkeys may also feed on the algae that starts to form inside of the tank. When you start to see the algae growing, try to feed your sea monkeys less often.
What Is Their Life Span?
Sea monkeys aren’t known for having a long life span. In fact, most only live up to two years tops. At about five weeks, they start to mate.
As they grow, they also tend to develop more body parts. When they are born, sea monkeys have only one eyeball. When they get older, however, they tend to grow more eyes and tentacles or feet.
When a sea monkey dies, it’s important to take it out of the tank as soon as possible. Otherwise, it will start to form bacteria and infect the rest of the sea monkeys that are still alive.
What Exactly Is a Sea Monkey?
As mentioned earlier, sea monkeys aren’t actually monkeys. Instead, they are what is called Artemia NYOS and is a type of human-made brine shrimp. They are called sea monkeys due to the fact that they have tails similar to that of a monkey’s.
Sea monkeys have also been compared to royal mer-people due to the fact that they have what look like crowns on their heads. They are known as “instant” pets because they hatch a few days after you put them in the water.
This is in part due to the fact that the sea monkeys are in a state of cryptobiosis where their bodies are shut down for a period of time and deprived entirely of oxygen. When their conditions go back to normal, they spring back to life.
Sea monkeys came to be in 1957, thanks to Harold von Braunhut who got the idea after seeing the popularity of ant farms. After coming up with the idea to sell sea monkeys, Braunhut then began to advertise them in comic books, which helped them gain traction.
When they first hit the market, sea monkeys were much smaller than they are today. However, after people started complaining that they couldn’t see these so-called magical creatures, Braunhut teamed up with a marine biologist who was able to make them bigger.
Interestingly enough, sea monkeys became so popular that there was a TV show created in the 1990s based around them. Sea monkeys were also initially touted as “instant life” and not sea monkeys.
The original kit also did not come with a tank so you had to provide your own. The name sea monkeys didn’t come to be until 1964.
Can You Eat Sea Monkeys?
This is a question that has crossed the mind of just about everyone who has owned sea monkeys. In short, the answer is yes, you can eat sea monkeys. However, they probably wouldn’t be of much nutritional value for you.
It isn’t, however, recommended that you eat them.
How to Train Sea Monkeys
In case you didn’t know, sea monkeys can be trained. All you need is a flashlight or a light pen, as well as sea monkey “treats” to reward them with.
Turn the lights off and use the flashlight to make your sea monkeys dance. They are naturally drawn to the light so if you want to see your sea monkeys do some tricks, this is the way to do it.
The more you do this, the more your sea monkeys will be used to it. After a while, all you need to do is turn the lights off and your sea monkeys will start to do the tricks without being prompted.
If you are training new sea monkeys, be sure that you don’t put them in the same tank as the older ones that are already trained.
Benefits of Owning Sea Monkeys
Sea monkeys make great pets for people who are new to the world of pet owning or for parents who want to teach their kids responsibility. They are fairly easy to care for and incredibly inexpensive.
Sea monkeys are also a great way to teach kids about the life cycle since sea monkeys go through it so quickly. They are incredibly entertaining and you can even purchase accessories to go in their tank.
Sea monkeys aren’t harmful to the environment, which is another benefit to owning them. You also don’t have to worry about them becoming an invasive species because they likely won’t survive once they are flushed down the toilet.