The True Science page is
always under construction as I learn more and more about our briny friends.
Please see below for student resources, teachers' resources, and other general information pages on
Sea Monkeys. If you are interested in learning more about Sea Monkeys in space,
please click here!
I am pleased to say that I have been able to get some actual Sea Monkey video on line!
Finally! The videos are in windows media file format, so if you can't play that, you can't
see these videos. I am working on getting them into other formats, but that costs money,
and that might mean putting ads on the site...so you get the general idea. Also, please only
download them once...my bandwidth is being sucked up quickly, and again we're back to the
whole money thing...
Click here to visit the Sea Monkey videos page now!
Project ideas for students:
Pictures of real Sea Monkeys
and eggs (Lovely colour photos!)
So what exactly are Sea Monkeys? Sea Monkeys are a type of brine shrimp, and a member of the animal family Crustacea, which also includes
crabs and lobsters. All crustaceans have a hard shell (known as an exoskeleton) that provides their
bodies with support, the way our bones help us keep our shapes. Having a hard shell is great when you’re a
small creature in a big ocean! It makes it more difficult for animals to eat the Sea Monkey and get to its
gooey parts inside. But there’s a big problem. As the Sea Monkey grows bigger inside the shell, the shell
stays the same size. So it needs to shed its shell, but this exposes its soft bodies to the outside world. It’s a
perfect time for predators to eat them! (Fortunately, Sea Monkeys don’t have any predators in the little tank,
so yours will be safe!) So they want to grow that shell quickly. Once the shell grows back, larger and harder,
they are protected until the next time they need to grow bigger!
Have you ever wondered how Sea Monkeys can live so long in those little packages? Sea Monkeys can
manufacture their own trehalose, a substance they use to coat their eggs to keep them safe from extreme
temperatures and lack of water. Once coated, these eggs are now called cysts and they can live many
years in this state. But once the conditions are just right and you add the water to the eggs, they come back
to life! This is how Sea Monkeys appear to come instantly to life when you add water!
Are your Sea Monkeys boys or girls? Is there a way to tell? Look at these two pictures....Do you notice any differences (other than the colour)?
Female Sea Monkey
Male Sea Monkey
The males are always smaller than the females
(although this doesn’t help if you don’t have any females to use as a comparison!) And if you look closely,
you’ll see that the males have pincers coming from under their chins. They use these pincers the way
crabs or lobster use their claws, to fight or grab things. The females are generally larger, and once mature,
will carry a brown coloured egg sac on their stomachs.
HOW WILL I KNOW WHEN THEY ARE FULL GROWN? Did you know that when Sea Monkeys are born, they have three eyes? And as they get older and closer to
adulthood, they lose that middle eye? (And you’d think that something like that would come in handy!) This
is one way to tell when they are full grown, although it is hard to see the third eye. There are other, easier
ways to tell when Sea Monkeys are mature. First, they grow bigger — up to 3/4 of an inch long! Second, the
males will grow pincers under their chins. Third, you will see an egg sac on the stomach of the female. And
finally they will have moulted their shells quite a number of times. If you look on the bottom of the tank, you
might see some black things that look like Sea Monkeys. These are discarded shells. Can you tell when
they are moulting? It’s hard, but if you watch carefully, you may see them shedding their shells!
Sea Monkey Anatomy 101!
Sea Monkeys don’t have brains; they have groupings of nerves
called “ganglia.” One of these is found in the Sea Monkey’s head,
the other just below the gut. These ganglia send out the messages
to the Sea Monkey’s body to do different things, such as eat, or
sleep, or chase after another Sea Monkey.
They breathe through their legs, using long tubes that come up
from their feet. The gill plates along the sides of their legs help
transport the oxygen they need to live! This is why they are called
A Sea Monkey’s kidneys aren’t located in its abdomen, the way
ours are. Its kidneys are located in its head!
Sea Monkeys have a circulatory system to help move the blood
around their bodies. Their hearts, located dorsally in their torsos,
pump blood around their tiny bodies, the way our blood is pumped
through our circulatory systems. As a note, they have hemoglobin in their blood, as do we.
Hemoglobin helps carry oxygen around the body. Strangely, there is an inverse correlation
between the amount of oxygen in a Sea Monkey's blood and the outside environment; the more
oxygen in the tank, the less in the blood, and vice versa.
Sea Monkeys sometimes appear to be juggling the algae in the tank. Why is this? They are using their little legs to push the
algae up to their mouth parts so they can eat it. And sometimes the Sea Monkey will look red. This is because the blue-green
algae sometimes metabolizes their bodies to make it appear an orangy colour.
Here follows a list of scientifically related Sea Monkey pages! Enjoy!
Science Project ideas
Please read these as opposed to writing to me for ideas. I simply don't have any, and these
sites will give you lots of ideas for creating science fair projects or science experiments. Please
do contact me with your results, as I am collecting information for the book and for this site, and
I would love to be able to include some successful ones!
Cheap, easy, effective brine shrimp hatchery with full colour pictures and instructions.
The Brine shrimp project
which is suitable for all age groups
General ideas for
science fair projects...
The Effect of Light on Sea
Does the presence
of brine shrimp effect water temperatures? (grades 5 through 8) Warning: This is a PDF file.
affecting the hatching of brine shrimp (PDF file)
Testing the responses of brine shrimp to environmental stimuli For elementary to middle school (PDF file)
Rural Girls in Science offers
a whole whack of ideas here...
The Silver stain Project which is
more suitable for older grades and university
Where will brine shrimp hatch?"
(not sure of grade)
Sea Monkeys see the light Please note:
Sea Monkeys is not spelled Sea Monkies under any circumstances!
Sea Monkeys and salt Water experiments:
A controlled experiment to determine the best salt water concentration to hatch Sea Monkeys (grade 12)
How do brine shrimp react to salt
Effects of salinity on
brine shrimp growth
(high school level)
Finding optimal salt concentration
for hatching brine shrimp
Effects of temperature and salinity on the growth and survival rates of brine shrimp (college level)
Project ideas for teachers
Teachers: If you want more information on science projects or on
the Bio-Mania grade appropriate Sea Monkey kits (for up to 6 students), then please
write to The Sea Monkey Lady, Susan Barclay
for more information or click
here for Products for the Classroom!
A teachers' resource centre
relating to brine shrimp and Sea Monkeys
Teachers' resource centre
Sea Monkey biology, history, and more scientific information:
Sea Monkeys swim -- a video of the
Sea Monkeys swimming! You should see the egg sacs!
Feed Yr Brain has a brief summary here on Sea Monkeys
More Sea Monkey science information
Great if you are looking for some university level scientific information
The Life History
of the Brine Shrimp Everything you wanted to know, with colour pictures!
National Geographic's study of brine shrimp fishing in the Great Salt Lake
Space Kids! and a
summary of John Glenn's adventures into space with the Sea Monkeys!
How exactly do Sea Monkeys work? The staff at Beyond
2000, an Australian television show, have taken it upon themselves to
research this topic! Absolutely fascinating and a must if you have ever looked
into the depths of your tank and wondered "how do they live so long in
Do you want to see a picture of a real Sea Monkey? Then check
Mechanics! or Minkies!
Mono Lake Brine Shrimp Information Page has more
information than you need to know about brine shrimp, including some great pictures!
Learn more about Salt Lake and their brine shrimp from the U.S.
Learn more about cultivating brine shrimp with the Brine Shrimp
The Brine Shrimp Fact Sheet from
the Rhode Island Sea Grant provides a great summary of brine shrimp biology!
From Hands On! some great experimental
things to do with Sea Monkeys1
From NASA, life in the pothole.
Do you wonder how Sea Monkeys can live so long in the packages? News in
Science has the answer! (You have to go there to find out -- I won't spoil the surprise!)
Do another science experiment with Science Junction!
Are you interested in buying an Ecosphere for your little
friends (it's a self-contained environment for Sea Monkeys and
other sea-going creatures.) Then go to
Eco-sphere for more
For some more sophisticated
information on brine shrimp consult:
This is on the ion transport
in brine shrimp -- may be a little much, but there's a good
This is an interview with the creator, Harold von Braunhut
Sea Monkeys in space (great for kids!)
Some ideas for Sea Monkey
Some basic information: http://more.abcnews.go.com/sections/tech/Geek/geek991028.html
Someone's science experiment: http://redtail.eou.edu/peers/newsletters/october99.html
The Brine Shrimp Hub has a multitude
of links for you!
Sea Monkeys are a form of
"Artemia Salina", or brine shrimp. Sea Monkeys have
been genetically altered to live longer, shed their shells more
often, and live in a smaller, less briny tank. If you want more
information, please search for "artemia salina" on the
I am in the process of amalgamating a great deal of material. Please keep checking back.