The main habitat of fairy shrimps is rain pools. The pools may be filled by periodic and predictable rains, or only erratically at long intervals. A number of anostracans, however, have adapted to two different types of water bodies: high mountain lakes and arctic ponds on the one hand, and saline lakes on the other. The life cycle of fairy shrimps in Arctic or Antarctic ponds is not regulated by alternation between wetting and drying, but by alternation between freezing and thawing. In saline lakes and ponds, such species as Artemia spp., Parartemia spp., and selected Branchinecta may occur from the first inundation, when the salt concentration is low, up to the point of saturation. All these habitats have one common feature: they are free of fishes and other vertebrate predators.

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