Shiten Photo and Description > Interesting


Shchiten (Triopsidae) is a genus of small crustaceans from the suborder Notostraca. Some species are considered living fossils, the origin of which dates back to the end of the Carboniferous period, namely 300 million years ago. Along with horseshoe crabs, shields are the most ancient species. They have lived on Earth since the time of the dinosaurs, and have not changed at all since those times, with the exception of size reduction. These are the most ancient animals existing today.

Origin of view and description

The suborder of Notostraca bugs includes one Triopsidae family, and only two genera are Triops and Lepidurus. By the 1950s, up to 70 species of bugs were discovered. Many proposed species are described based on morphological variation. There were two important revisions to the classification of the family — Linder in 1952 and Longhurst in 1955. They — reviewed many taxa and identified only 11 species in two genera. This taxonomy has been accepted for decades and has been considered dogma.

Interesting fact: More recent studies using molecular phylogenetics have shown that eleven currently recognized species hide more reproductively isolated populations.

Shitenya is sometimes called a «living fossil,» because fossils belonging to the suborder were discovered in rocks of the Carboniferous period, somewhere 300 million years ago. One species that survived to us, the crustacean shield (T. cancriformis), has not changed almost from the Jurassic period (about 180 million years ago).

There are many fossils of shields in the range of geological deposits. The absence of serious morphological changes that occurred in the family during the 250 million years of the existence of these animals suggests that dinosaurs saw this form of shingles. Kazachartra — a disappeared group, known only by the Triassic and Jurassic fossils from Western China and Kazakhstan, is closely associated with shields and may belong to the Notostraca squad.

Appearance and features

Photo: What the shield looks like

Shchitni have a length of 2-10 cm, a wide shell in the front and a long thin abdomen. This creates a general shape similar to a tadpole. Carapace dorso-ventrally flattened, smooth. The front part includes the head, and two rocky eyes located together on the crown of the head. Two pairs of antennas are significantly reduced, and the second pair is sometimes absent altogether. In the oral cavity contain a pair of single-branched antennas and without jaws.

The ventral side of the shield showing up to 70 pairs of legs. The body contains a large number of «body rings» that look like body segments, but do not always reflect basic segmentation. The first eleven rings of the body make up the chest and carry one pair of legs, each of which also has a genital opening. In a female, she mutates, forming a «brood sac». The first one or two pairs of legs are different from the rest and probably function as sense organs.

The remaining segments form the abdominal cavity. The number of body rings varies both within the species and between different species, and the number of pairs of legs per body ring can reach six. The legs become gradually smaller along the abdomen, and in the last segments they are completely absent. The abdomen ends with a telson and a pair of long, thin, multi-articular tail branches. The telson shape varies between two genera: in Lepidurus, the rounded projection extends between the caudal branches, while in Triops there is no such projection.

Interesting fact: Some species have the ability to turn pink when a large amount of hemoglobin is present in their blood.

The color of the shield is often brown or grayish-yellow. On the proximal side of the abdomen, the animal has many small hair-like appendages (about 60), which move rhythmically and allow the individual to direct food to the mouth. Male and female individuals differ in both size and morphology. Males, as a rule, have a slightly longer shell length and have larger secondary antennas that can be used as clamps during breeding. In addition, females have a bag of eggs.

Now you know what it looks like. Let’s see where this crustacean is found.

Where does the shield live?

Photo: Common marshmallow

Thistles can be found in Africa, Australia, Asia, South America, Europe (including the UK), as well as in parts of North America where the climate is suitable. Some eggs remain unaffected by the previous group and hatch when rain infiltrates their area. This animal quietly adapted to existence on all continents except Antarctica. It is found on most of the islands in the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Oceans.

The range of the shield is in:

  • Eurasia, 2 species live everywhere: Lepidurus apus + Triops cancriformis (summer shingles);
  • America, species such as Triops longicaudatus, Triops newberryi, and others;
  • Australia, there are ubiquitous several subspecies, under the joint name Triops australiensis;
  • Africa, has become home to the species — Triops numidicus;
  • the species Triops granarius is chosen by South Africa, Japan, China, Russia and Italy. Thorns are found all over the world in freshwater, brackish or salty water bodies, as well as in small lakes, peatlands and moorlands. In rice fields, the species Triops longicaudatus is considered a pest because it liquefies sediment, preventing light from entering rice seedlings.

Shields are generally found at the bottom of warm (average 15–31 ° C) water bodies. They also prefer to live in highly alkaline waters and cannot tolerate pH below 6. The water basins in which they live should retain water for a month and not experience significant temperature changes. During the day, shields can be found in the soil of the reservoir or in its thickness, digging and collecting food. At night they tend to bury themselves in silt.

What does the shield eat?

Photo: Crustacean Shield

Shinny are omnivorous, they also dominate as predators in their niche, eating all animals that are smaller than them. Individuals, as a rule, prefer animal detritus rather than plant detritus, but they will eat both. Insect larvae, as well as various zooplankton, are also the subject of their dietary predilections. They prefer mosquito larvae over other insect larvae.

Interesting fact: During a shortage of food, some types of shingles resort to cannibalism, eating young individuals or using their pectoral processes to filter food to their mouth. The thrips species longicaudatus is particularly adept at chewing on the roots and leaves of sprouting plants such as rice.

Mostly the shields are at the bottom, rummaging through the ground in search of food. They are active around the clock, but for a fruitful pastime they need lighting. It happens that the shields are on the surface of the water upside down. It is unclear what affects this behavior. The initial theory of a lack of oxygen has not been confirmed. Similar behavior is observed in shields in oxygen-saturated water. Probably, in this way the animal is looking for food, bacteria that have accumulated at the surface.

Some parasitic bacteria of the genus Echinostomus use T. longicaudatus as a host organism. In addition, more nutrients are provided as a result of the continuous digging of this crustacean in the substrate of the pond and the raising of sediment. Shitneys are known to significantly reduce the size of mosquito populations by consuming their larvae.

Features of character and lifestyle

Photo: Summer shield

Shelters are relatively solitary species, their individuals are found separately in different areas of water bodies. This is due to the higher level of predation that occurs when they are in large groups. These small crustaceans use appendages called phyllopods to move forward in the water. They constantly move throughout the day and are found floating in the water column.

These crustaceans possess exopods that allow them to delve into the mud in search of food. They are more active during the day. Studies have shown that shields can lower your metabolic rate at times when food becomes scarce or other environmental conditions are unfavorable. They constantly molt, especially often throw off their close carapace at the beginning of their lives.

Most likely, they use their eyes to identify food products and potential partners (if reproduction occurs through sexual contact). Behind the eyes is the dorsal, occipital organ, which is most likely used for chemoreception, that is, for the perception of chemical stimuli within the body or in the environment.

Sherlocks have a relatively short lifespan, both in the wild and in captivity. Their average life expectancy in the wild is between 40 and 90 days if the temporary pond does not dry out earlier. In captivity, he can live on average from 70 to 90 days.

Social structure and reproduction

Photo: A pair of bugs

Within the suborder of Notostraca bugs, and even within varieties, there are significant differences in the method of propagation. Some populations reproduce sexually, others show self-fertilization of females, and still others are hermaphrodites connecting both sexes. Therefore, the frequency of males in populations varies greatly.

In the sexual population, sperm leaves the man’s body through simple pores, and the penis is absent. Cysts are released by the female, and then held in a bowl-shaped brood sac. The cysts are retained by the female only for a short time before laying off, and the larvae develop directly without passing through metamorphosis.

The female holds the eggs in an egg bag for several hours after fertilization. If the conditions are favorable, the female lays white eggs / cysts on various substrates present in the pond. If the conditions are not favorable, the female modifies the eggs so that they become dormant and do not hatch until the conditions improve. In any case, the first larval stage after deposition is metanauplius (the larval stage of crustaceans).

At this early stage, they are orange in color and have three pairs of limbs and one eye. A few hours later they lose their exoskeleton, and telson begins to form into plankton. After another 15 hours, the larva again loses its exoskeleton and begins to resemble a miniature adult specimen of the shield.

Juvenile offspring continue to molt and become adults over the next few days. Seven days later, the crustacean takes on the color and shape of an adult and can lay its eggs, because it has reached full puberty.

Natural enemies of shields

Photo: What the shield looks like

These small crustaceans are the main food source for waterfowl. Many bird species prey on cysts and adults. In addition, forest frogs, and other species of frogs, often hunt for bugs. In times when food is scarce, these crustaceans can resort to cannibalism.

To reduce intraspecific predation, the shields tend to be lonely, becoming a smaller target and less noticeable than a large group. Their brown color also acts as camouflage, merging with sediment at the bottom of their pond.

The main predators that hunt for shields include:

Scabbards are considered human allies against the West Nile virus, as individuals consume kuleks mosquito larvae. They are also used as biological weapons in Japan by eating weeds in rice fields. T. cancriformis is used more often than others for this purpose. In Wyoming, the presence of T. longicaudatus usually indicates a good chance of frog hatching.

Purchased shields are often found in aquariums and feed on a diet consisting mainly of carrots, shrimp granules and dried shrimps. Sometimes they are fed live shrimp or daphnia. Since they can eat almost anything, they are also fed regular meals, crackers, potatoes, etc.

Population and species status

Shield populations are not in danger. They are the ancient inhabitants of planet Earth and over the years adapted to survive in the most unfavorable conditions. Shield cysts travel vast distances by animals or by the wind, thus expanding their range and preventing the appearance of isolated populations.

When favorable conditions occur, only part of the cysts of the population begins to develop, which increases their chance of survival. If mature adults die without leaving offspring, then the remaining cysts may try to start all over again. Dried cysts of some species of shield are sold in breeding kits as pets in an aquarium.

Among cyst enthusiasts, the most popular are:

  • American species — T. longicaudatus;
  • European — T. cancriformis
  • Australian — T. australiensis.

Other captive species also include T. newberryi and T. granarius. Red (albino) forms are quite common among enthusiasts and have become the heroes of numerous videos on YouTube. Shelters are unpretentious in content. The main thing to keep in mind is that they need fine sand as soil, and it is unnecessary to put them in fish, because they can eat small fish, and large ones will eat them.

Shchiten — the oldest animals that in the Triassic period reached a length of two meters. In large bodies of water, they have become an important component of the food chain. Keep in mind that they can harm fry and small fish, as well as other crustaceans.

Meta Description Example + Writing Guide

Confused by what a meta description is and how you should be using it? Well, this guide will help clear up your confusion and show you how to create a great meta description.

What Is A Meta Description?

A meta description is a short summary, usually 160 characters or less, that is shown in the search results and gives a searcher an idea of what your page content is about. One part of our organic SEO services is to write meta descriptions that improve conversions – as well as title tags since they go hand in hand.

Below is an example of what a meta description will look like in the search results:

In the code of your website your meta description will look like the below:

name =” description ” content =” Looking for a new website for your Non Profit or small business? Look no further than NJ based 2 Dogs Media. 10+ years of experience doing what we love! “/>

Do I have to have a meta description?

Simply stated – YES! You need to have a meta description! While it does not impact SEO directly – there are so many other benefits to having meta descriptions and there is a belief it has some type of indirect impact on organic search ranking.

Do Meta Descriptions affect my rank?

It has pretty much been clarified by several sources that a meta description is not a direct ranking factor but may offer a better user experience. It will not improve your website ranking in the Google search results but it may help with your click-through rate which in turn might help you rank higher because Google will see it as a highly relevant result.

Meta tags may have some direct rank affect in other search engines though (like Bing or Duck Duck Go for example) so we do highly recommend always writing a well optimized meta description that includes a keyword for every page of your website.

Will they always use the meta description I write?

No, the search engines will not always use the meta description you write and may pull it from your page content instead.

Below we show an example of how sometimes Google will actually pull content from your page as opposed to the actual meta description you write.

We did a search for “how to stop my dog from barking”.

One of the meta description results was for the Humane Society and you can see their pulled meta description highlighted in yellow in the image below. But if you read it – it is a bit confusing right?

This is not what the website intended to be the meta description – it is what Google pulled.

Below is the meta description as shown in their source code – the one that they WANT Google to use, but you can see that what is entered below is clearly different than what is being returned in the image above.

So, why was this description meta not used by Google?

It has the keyword “stop your dog from barking” – it talks about the website content and appeals to me as a searcher, it makes sense for it to be a meta name description.

The ONLY thing we can possibly see as an issue is the fact that is is using 233 characters as opposed to a recommended amount of less than 160 characters. We do not know for sure of course, but it seems plausible – if this was our website we would change the meta description to be shorter and see if Google picks it up in the future.

You can also see a bit more about this in a meta description case study by Ahrefs which talks more about how often Google changes the meta description.

Is there anything I can do if my preferred description is not being used?

If Google is pulling a different meta description, then there is probably SOMETHING they feel isn’t properly representative of your actual page topic or it does not fit the query.

There are no definitive things you can do unfortunately – but you can try the following.

  1. Make sure the meta description you have written is not a duplicate for another page.
  2. Rewrite the meta description completely to be better aligned to your content.
  3. Make sure you do not have multiple meta descriptions being generated on your website. Sometimes multiple SEO related plugins can cause issues and duplicates.
  4. If your meta description is shorter than say 125 characters or longer than 160 characters – rewrite it to fit under the 160 characters range and see if it gets pulled.

Simple tips to write meta descriptions that engage and convert.

  1. Keep the meta description length to approximately 135-160 characters. There is no longer a true magic number since Google will choose to show as much or little as they would like, but this has been a good character number overall – and writing more than that can result in truncation or the possibility that Google may pull different text entirely.
  2. When you write your meta descriptions include a call to action! Give them a REASON to come to your website. “Imagine spying on your competitors without them knowing. Try our software for free today.” is just 1 example of a great meta description with great action statement to improve you click-through rate.
  3. When you create your meta description – matching the page topic is critical. Make sure whatever your meta description says – emulates what your post is about since that will make a difference in the search results.
  4. While some may say it is not relevant, we do recommend including your main keyword in your meta description. It may improve the chance Google will use your preferred meta description and some search engines also highlight relevant keywords improving the chance of being clicked on.
  5. Make it conversational! Imagine how you would tell a person about your page and work with that for your meta description.

Meta Description Examples That Rock!

Meta descriptions that entertain, have a call to action and tell us clearly what the page is about are hard to write – but these meta description examples do it well! A good meta description like these – usually show really well in the search engines when written in conjunction with amazing user-intent driven content.

If you can write meta descriptions as good as these your search result will be a lot stronger than your competitors!


This is a good meta description because it clearly defines the demographic they are targeting and the issues that the demographic faces with maturing skin. Tells me clearly how I can look radiant and fresh!

Outside The box

A local company that creates handcrafted tables from locally salvaged wood. The meta description does a great showing exactly where they are located and what you can expect to find on the website.


When Mailchimp realized people did not always get their name right – they did what any creative marketer would do an embraced it by creating a page about it. This is one of our favorite meta descriptions examples – it makes us laugh and makes us curious about what the page has on it.

Chipotle Mexican Grill

Plain, simple and to the point is what makes this a great meta description! You want Chipotle, then this is the place to go. It speaks to their users and appeals to their simple side!


These guys were a no brainer is a contender for our meta description examples list and hopefully you can see why! It makes us laugh and appeals to our lighter side – and like any meta description tag should – makes us want to click.


This dog blog did a great job writing a meta description for their post about litter boxes for dog. Starting with a question gets your curiosity up and then following up with how the product can help a certain demographic is a perfect way to get people to click to read more.

Taco Bell

Reaching out to users by showing they understand you are unique – and offer options for you at their restaurant is a great way to build a sense of “understanding” of their consumers. They also managed to squeeze in a recommendation to sign up for offers in their meta description which is a really great idea!

Live Science

We did a double take on this one because it did not seem real at first, but it is and it is funny as all heck. Do not be afraid to be funny! This is another good meta description with so much personality and a great title tag as well.

Lonely Planet

The Lonely Planet meta description reaches out to you by asking a question first – then clearly defines everything they do to help you plan your travel. It is personal. descriptive and perfectly fits the recommended character amount.

Scary Mommy

This meta description is super engaging for a specific blog post about raising teenagers. It appeals to me as the mom of a teenager in wanting to see her experiences and it is witty and sarcastic (of course not everyone responds to sarcasm but it works here because her blog is sarcasm based) – and she shares her credentials too which is important these days. This meta description would definitely make me want to see more about what the web page has for me.

Unique Vintage

Right off the bat we see the Free Shipping deal and know that they have vintage pieces for all occasions – so they are clearly showing searchers what they offer. This meta description example also shows how a shopper can get free shipping which is a great way to get a user to click through.

Pig Placement Network

This is a great example for a nonprofit. They first ask about me and what I want – then tell me how they are going to help me and even recommend what I should read first. Just a great use of space!

Roasty Coffee

Love this meta description as it addresses a problem with a little creativity. When is the last time you heard the word “kaput”? But it tells me exactly what the post is about in a fun way. It immediately catches the eye when scanning the page.

Puffins Cereal

Puffins understands what their customers want! It is clear in the description that while kids will love the sweet cinnamon taste – moms will love the high fiber and low sugar content. This is a perfect example of writing for your perfect customer to get their interest.


Simple and to the point! They clearly state what they do and how they do it in few short words. The addition of the word luxury immediately tells potential customers they can expect nothing but the best!

Blue Door Boutique

This meta description features a perfect combination of informational and engaging to encourage clicks is what makes this example awesome.

Gimme Some Oven

When we see recipes in the search results we often see descriptions that are pulled from the recipe ingredients or instructions which is a poor user experience. This website did a great job of telling me that this recipe is easy to make, tastes yummy and includes freezing directions!

Good Housekeeping

We love that they are sharing the different type of people that can benefit from the heated gloves they are talking about as well as how they will be “appreciated”.

Test Your Meta Descriptions & Page Titles

Before you post your meta descriptions -TEST THEM!

Make sure all meta descriptions look good and sound good. Read them out loud!

Another highly recommended thing to do is A/B Testing your meta descriptions. We have just started working with A/B Rankings and are very happy with their platform so far.

If you prefer the free way of testing meta descriptions then you can do the following, which is how we have been doing it for years.

  1. Dig into the Search Console to find keywords that rank well and get a lot of impressions but low click thru rates.
  2. Create a spreadsheet with columns for date, meta description before and after and any other notes you would like to take.
  3. Change your description to a new version but make sure you put the old version in your spreadsheet.
  4. Wait about 30-60 days to see if the CTR for that post or page has improved. If so, keep the new one you created.
  5. If the page or post has dropped in CTR – then put the old meta description back or try a new version.

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