Strange creature found in murky Lubbock flood waters

By Ann Wyatt Little - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (Raycom News Network) –  A Lubbock family now has a bucket full of unusual creatures they are keeping as pets.

The hunt for the name of these creatures turned into a summer science project for the Adams family. "It did not look like a tadpole, it looked like an alien to me," says 12-year-old Mariah Adams who brought home seven creepy crawlers in she and her sister Ivy found in a mud puddle.

"They definitely make me uncomfortable," said the girl's mom Charise Adams. "They thought they were some kind of dinosaur that was extinct so of course we had to save them," Adams said.

Adams had a nightmare about the little animals, but her daughters say they swim upside down and can do tricks. "I've named this one Show Off, because he shows off," said Ivy Adams. "I like how they move because it looks like they are waving," said Mariah.

It's clear they like the animals, but they just did not know what to officially call them. They searched online and decided to call Texas Tech University. "It's known as a tadpole shrimp and they live in our playa lakes and hatch in the rain," said James Cokendolpher, the assistant curator at the Texas Tech Museum.

All of the rain in Lubbock has created the perfect atmosphere for these creatures.  While not very friendly looking, they are harmless to humans and a distant cousin of the crawdad.

Cokendolpher says they are a fairly common pet and you can purchase tadpole shrimp, or Triops, on the Internet. They are similar to Sea Monkeys. Sadly, the Adams girls will only get 20 to 40 days with their new pets because of such a short life expectancy.

There is some good news with this story - tadpole shrimp eat mosquitoes.

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