Ghost Shrimp

Moist, murky water embraces the wetlands, cattails sway in the salty breeze, lush growth is everywhere. The wetlands are teeming with life. They are homes to birds, fish, and many mammals. However, many people ignore what’s happening deep down in the mud flats. The mudflat is a home to an amazing creature, the ghost shrimp. The ghost shrimp looks pretty cool at first glance, its soft white-pink body and bulging black eyes. But there’s more to that creature than just a shrimp. If the top of your house looked like a volcano that would be strange, but all ghost shrimps burrows look like a volcano shaped mound on the mudflats. Ghost shrimp have an advantage when expanding their burrow, as they tunnel through the mud and silt they pick up a meal. A meal for them wouldn’t be a pizza or sandwich, instead they eat plankton and detritus. If there is a lot of food mingling in the water they can grow 4-5ft (12cm.). The ghost shrimp are very welcoming to neighbors, in fact they can share their burrows with pea crabs, scale worms, snapping shrimp, and many more small creatures. But it’s not just you that has relatives, the ghost shrimp has them too. Its closest relatives are the beach ghost shrimp, in fact the beach ghost shrimp is so close to the ghost shrimp that the two species are called family callainassidea. There other relatives are the blue mud shrimp. All of these things are very interesting, but, there is one unbelievable thing. Unlike us the ghost shrimp is in danger if a bigger animal or human steps on its burrow because it could block oxygen. So… The ghost shrimp has the adaptation to hold its breath for SIX DAYS!!! That is SO amazing! So next time you take a walk in the wetlands, don’t ignore what’s deep down in the mudflats.

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