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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

Did You Know? Incredible Prawn Facts Kids Will Love

Prawns facts tell us where these animals live.

Facts about prawns are very interesting to read. They belong to the suborder Dendrobranchiata and are considered a delicacy in most parts of the world. These crustaceans have different species like spot prawns, banana prawns, red-tailed prawns, and more. However, the basic features of the different species of these crustaceans are the same. These not-so-large animals are residents of water, be it freshwater or saltwater. The scientific name of these crustaceans belonging to the Dendrobranchiata suborder varies from one species to another. Although they are all found mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, some of these animals can be found in the Northern Hemisphere too. Though they look like shrimps, the two crustaceans are not to be confused as they have ample differences between them to distinguish these two small creatures. In this article, you will learn about the difference between shrimps and prawns, the kind of water a prawn can live in, the food they eat, the suborder Dendrobranchiata, and more. So keep reading.

For more similar content, check out oysters and mantis shrimp.

Prawn Interesting Facts

What type of animal are Prawns?

The prawn is a type of crustacean.

What class of animal do Prawns belong to?

Prawns belong to the class Malacostraca.

How many Prawns are there in the world?

The exact population of prawns is not known. However, there are approximately 3000 species of prawns in the world.

Where do Prawns live?

Prawns can be mainly found in freshwater areas, though some of them can be found in marine water bodies too. Prawns are residents of the Southern and Northern Hemisphere including countries like England, Ireland, Wales, Australia, and many countries in Africa. England's Shark Bay is home to a number of tiger prawns. On the other hand, species like banana prawns, tiger prawns, and king prawns can also be found in Australia. They are found throughout the Mediterranean as well.

What is a Prawn's habitat?

Freshwater prawns dwell in water bodies like lakes, pools, streams, and rivers. On the other hand, marine prawns prefer to stay close to sandy beaches.

Who do Prawns live with?

Prawns are solitary creatures who are mostly seen individually. However, they pair up during the mating season. They are also known to travel in groups when they need protection from predators.

How long do Prawns live?

Prawns have a lifespan of two or three years.

How do they reproduce?

Prawns reproduce on the coastal shores. They attain maturity at the age of around six to eight months. King prawns have the capability to reproduce all year round, whereas tiger prawns utilize the summer and spring seasons for reproduction. Prawns can reproduce multiple times annually. It is mandatory for the female prawn to have a soft shell during the mating process. The male prawn releases a capsule into the female's body. This capsule stays put till the eggs are fertilized and laid. Once the process is complete, the female prawn births multiple eggs which are hundreds of thousands in number. It takes a day for the eggs to hatch into larvae. The larvae then go through certain stages of maturity such as post-larvae, juvenile prawns, and adult prawns. It takes them half a year to reach adult size as well as gain the maturity necessary to reproduce further.

What is their conservation status?

The prawn has a conservation status of Least Concern according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Prawn Fun facts

What do Prawns look like?

Prawns are known to live for a couple of years.

The prawn is bluish-grey in color. They may also have a reddish tint. The body of this crustacean has an elongated cylindrical shape that tapers at the tail. Their bodies are divided into the frontal and the rear ends. Prawns have a dozen appendages. They have a head, a thorax, an abdomen, and ten legs.

How cute are they?

Prawns are not exactly cute. Some might even consider prawns to be gross to look at, owing to their protruding eyes and long antennas.

How do they communicate?

A prawn can communicate with another prawn by clicking and snapping. These actions of the prawn are also fruitful as they double up as a scare tactic towards its predators.

How big are Prawns?

Prawns are 0.3-4 in (1-10 cm) in length. They are one-tenth the size of a goldfish that lives in its natural habitat.

How fast can Prawns move?

The exact speed of a prawn is not known. However, a shrimp is known to possess the ability to move at a speed of 50 mph (80 kph). Thus, it can be inferred that prawns do not lag too far behind.

How much do Prawns weigh?

Prawns weigh approximately 0.1-0.4 lb (45-200 gm).

What are their male and female names of the species?

There is no specific name for male and female prawns. There are simply called male prawns and female prawns.

What would you call a baby Prawn?

A group of baby prawns is called a clutch.

What do they eat?

Prawns are omnivorous in nature. They feed on plant matter as well as decayed matter. They prey on shellfish and other organisms which are microscopic in nature. They are also known to eat plankton as well as small crabs and fish.

Are they dangerous?

Prawns are not dangerous. However, they may come with a variety of diseases. The majority of prawns have the possibility of carrying harmful bacteria like E. coli, which is notorious for inducing food poisoning in humans.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, prawns can be kept as pets. They are more up and about than fish and hence can make a good addition to your freshwater aquarium. However, it is advisable to not keep them together with other fish.

Did you know...

Prawns can be very delicious to eat. They are slightly chewy and meaty in texture. They have a slightly creamy and sweet taste. Prawns taste a lot like shrimps which taste like a mixture of fish and chicken. Various different meals can be made out of prawns.

The prawn is not a fish. It is a crustacean. Prawns have different features from fish. Whereas the fish does have a backbone, the prawn is known for not having a spine. Additionally, prawns have a hard exterior shell. On the other hand, fish have fins and scales on their body. Fish are devoid of pincers, unlike prawns. Moreover, prawns differ in size from fish, the latter being generally bigger in size. Hence, the prawn cannot be categorized as a fish.

Is eating Prawns good for you?

Prawns can be a worthy addition to your plate if you are looking for a healthy meal. They are rich in proteins, minerals, and vitamins without any heavy addition of calorie content. They are rich in unsaturated fats and low in unhealthy fats.

Prawns vs. shrimp

Shrimp and prawns are descendants of two different families. Although shrimp and prawns are decapods, that is they both have ten legs each, they are from different suborders. Shrimp and prawn belong to pleocyemata and dendrobranchiate suborder respectively.

Another difference lies in the anatomy of shrimp and prawns. The thorax is on top of the abdomen of the shrimp, and prawns have bodies where each part of their body overlaps with the one below it. Flexibility is a characteristic of the shrimp, and prawns are not flexible because of their aforementioned anatomical feature.

Shrimp and prawns have one pair and three pairs of clawed legs respectively.

While shrimps carry eggs on their backside during the reproduction process, prawns simply excrete the fertilized eggs into the water.

Apart from these major differences between the shrimp and prawns, another difference lies in the naming of shrimp and prawns as well. While countries like Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and Britain usually refer to the animal as the shrimp, prawns are a name more commonly used by the people of North America. Thus, the terms shrimp and prawn have different origins.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods including shrimp and freshwater mussels.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our Prawns coloring pages.

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