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Animals - Shrimp

Shrimp Facts

Kingdom:    Animalia

Phylum:    Arthropoda

Class:    Crustacea

Order:    Decapoda

Family:    Caridea

Common Name:    Shrimp

Scientific Name:    Caridea

Origin:    Worldwide

Diet:    Omnivore

Size:    0.3-5cm (0.1-2in)

Water Type:    Fresh, Brackish, Salt

Optimum pH Level:    7.0-9.5

Life Span:    1-2 years

Conservation Status:    Threatened

Skin Type:    Shell

Favourite Food:    Tiny Fish

Habitat:    All water regions around the world

Average Clutch Size:    500,000

Main Prey:    Tiny Fish, Algae, Plankton

Predators:    Fish, Crabs, Whales

Special Features:    Transparent shell and beady eyes

Shrimp are marine crustaceans that are found on the bottom of the water in nearly every environment around the world. Shrimps are generally tiny in size, with some species of shrimp being so small that many animals cannot see them.

There are more than 2,000 different species of shrimp worldwide, all of which are invertebrates which means that shrimp do not have a backbone. Instead, shrimp have a hard exoskeleton (the shell of the shrimp) which is often transparent and colourless making shrimp difficult to see in the water.

The shrimp lives on the river beds and ocean floors around the world, filtering sand and particles in the water. Shrimp are known to stay in schools that contain numerous shrimp individuals, and are able to adapt easily to changes in water conditions.

Shrimps are omnivorous animals and therefore ingest and variety of both plant and animal species. Shrimp mainly feed on algae and other plant particles along with tiny fish and plankton in the water. One species of shrimp is known to stun it's prey before eating it by making a loud noise with one of it's claws, that makes a snapping sound through the water.

Due to their small size and abundance, shrimp are naturally prey to numerous predators around the world both in the water and out. Shrimp are eaten by fish, crustaceans such as crabs, sea urchins, starfish, sea -birds such as puffins, whales, dolphins, sharks and humans and many other animal species as well.

The female shrimp can lay up to a million eggs at once that only take a couple of weeks to hatch. The tiny shrimp become part of the plankton in the water until they are big enough to big hunting in groups for larger food particles.

The shrimp is very closely related to the prawn and the thing that makes the shrimp and prawn stand out from other species of crustacean is the fact that they are able to swim through the water and although shrimps and prawns are very closely related, there are differences between them. The main difference between a shrimp and a prawn is they have different gill structures. There are different interpretations all around the world as to which species is a shrimp and which is a prawn that are often based on size and the water type where they are found.

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