In all my travels in Yosemite’s high country, I never thought I would encounter shrimp. However, a group of biologists working on the Sierra Nevada Inventory and Monitoring Network recently found fairy shrimp (Branchinecta lindahli) at 8,600 feet, an elevation record for the species. Don’t start packing the cocktail sauce in your backpacks! Since they inhabit an area in a National Park, these shrimp are protected.
The report noted that fairy shrimp eggs or cysts can survive up to 100 years under extreme conditions such as freezing or desiccation (drying up). Cysts can also travel on the wind, which might explain how these shrimp arrived at 8,600 feet.