'Alien' shrimp emerge in Australia after heavy rain 

A small, strange-looking creature has been spotted in increasing numbers around central Australia.

They belong to a crustacean species called Shield Shrimp which Australia's ABC News describes as "an alien tadpole with a double-pronged tail."

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Shield and Tadpole Shrimp
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Shield and Tadpole Shrimp

A tadpole shrimp swims in a desert pothole, Colorado Plateau, Utah

(Photo by Robert F. Sisson/National Geographic/Getty Images)

Australian shield shrimp, Triops australiensis, in muddy water following rain. A living fossil, having had no significant change over 250 million years. Cravens Peak Reserve, central west Queensland, Simpson Desert, Australia.

(Auscape/UIG via Getty Images)

Detail of a 'Tadpole Shrimp', crustaceans that live in Utah's vernal pools and potholes, photographed in the Paria Canyon Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness, Sept. 13, 2007. The shrimp eggs can remain dormant for a season or for hundreds of years, only hatching when enough water is available for them to survive. The Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness, near Page, Arizona is home to canyons and amazing rock formations.

(Photo by Spencer Weiner/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Australian shield shrimp, Triops australiensis, in muddy water following rain. A living fossil, having had no significant change since 250 million years ago. Cravens Peak Reserve, central west Queensland, Simpson Desert, Australia.

(Auscape/UIG via Getty Images)

triops or tadpole shrimp isolated on black

Shield or tadpole shrimp (Triops sp.), in floodwaters. Central Australia.

(Photo by Auscape/UIG via Getty Images)

Two Tadpole Shrimps 

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Shield shrimps (Triops australiensis), in floodwaters in Western Australia.

(Photo by Auscape/UIG via Getty Images)

one triops on leaf litter. 

(VitalisG via Getty Images)

Shield shrimps (Triops australiensis), in floodwaters. Tanami Desert, Northern Territory, Australia.

(Photo by Auscape/UIG via Getty Images)

Tadpole shrimp.

(John Cancalosi via Getty Images)

Summer Tadpole Shrimp (Triops longicaudatus)

(Solvin Zankl/Visuals Unlimited, Inc. via Getty Images)

Australian shield shrimp, Triops australiensis, in muddy water following rain. A living fossil, having had no significant change since 250 million years ago. Cravens Peak Reserve, central west Queensland, Australia.

(Auscape/UIG via Getty Images)

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And, as a Facebook post by Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife explains, the reason for their recent uptick in numbers is because heavy rains have caused their dormant eggs in the desert to come alive.

In fact, one expert says that these hearty eggs have adapted to survive with little to no moisture for as long as seven years.

Once hatched, these creatures can reach a maximum length of about 3.5 inches, notes The Telegraph.

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