With the single exception of Lepidurus arcticus, which inhabits a few lakes in Norway and Greenland and may coexist with one fish species, all other notostracans can be found exclusively in ephemeral pools where fish predation can be avoided. These pools may last only a few weeks during the rainy season, and tadpole shrimps are specially adapted to this kind of niche, developing extremely quickly and producing drought-resistant eggs that may remain dormant for decades, and which may require a period of drought before they are capable of hatching. In general, Triops species are mostly found in warmer and short-lasting pools, while Lepidurus are more common in cooler and longer-lasting pools. Tadpole shrimps are usually found swimming in the benthos of these pools.

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