Who doesn’t love these tiny sea creatures? Shrimps belong to the crustacean family that typically live within marine waters, they are frequently caught for food, taste delicious, and live very interesting lives across the world's oceans.
What's more, when it comes to shrimp health facts, they have a range of benefits that will certainly surprise you. Shrimps contain many nutrients such as selenium, copper, choline, zinc, niacin and vitamins B6 and B12- everything that our bodies might be lacking. If you are looking for facts about shrimps take a look at our ultimate list here, and if you love facts why not check out these pig facts and bat facts for kids?
Fun Facts About Shrimps
A shrimp is a small shellfish with long legs and a long body that has a rigid casing, but that's not all, there's plenty of facts about shrimp in the ocean. Do shrimp have a heart? Where do shrimp come from? What’s the difference between shrimps and prawns? Take a look at these facts about shrimps here and find out more.
1. Shrimps have 16 photoreceptors and can see well, they can also move each eye independently.
2. There are many similarities between a shrimp and prawn, however shrimps have claws on two of their five pairs of legs while prawns have claws on three of their five pairs of legs. Shrimps are generally smaller than prawns and considered marine creatures. Meanwhile, the majority of prawns live in freshwater.
3. The body of a shrimp is divided into two parts: the thorax and the head. The cephalothorax and a narrow abdomen connect the two components.
4. A shrimp is protected by a hard exterior shell, the gills allow the shrimp to get oxygen from the surrounding waters.
5. Shrimp offer minimal threat when it comes to consuming other animals and plants. They are not typically predators.
6. A shrimp’s heart is located inside the bottom of its head.
7. Shrimp can quickly adapt to new conditions in the water, accounting for their vast numbers in every ocean and region on earth, except Antarctica.
8. It's often asked is shrimp a fish? The answer is shrimps are variety of decapod crustaceans and not a type of fish.
9. Both shrimp and prawn are common names and not scientific names, both are closely related to lobster, crabs and crayfish.
10. The scientific name of shrimp is "caridea", within the order of decapod crustaceans.
11. Shrimp don’t have a backbone as humans do. Shrimps don’t have a skeleton inside their body at all. Instead, they have a hard, and larger shell-like covering called an exoskeleton that protects them and gives their body its shape. You may have even peeled that hard surface from a cooked shrimp so you could take a bite!
12. Molting is a stage that shrimp must pass through many times as they grow older. When they are small, a shrimp will shed their skin around once a week.
13. Once their skeleton shell has developed it is very soft to start with, making the shrimps weak. They often hide away until it becomes firm and is able to protect them.
14. Shrimps can also shred their exoskeletons, this can be confusing for people who keep freshwater shrimps in aquariums, as they look just like the living shrimp.
15. Shrimps are very efficient at reproducing: most shrimp are breeding machines, within hours after their eggs hatching, female shrimps then carry a new batch of fertilized embryos.
16. A shrimp can lay up to one million eggs at once. The eggs take just two weeks to hatch.
17. Contrary to popular belief, shrimps do not die once they have laid eggs.
18. When it comes to consumption, it’s widely believed that humans have been catching and eating shrimp as far back as 600 AD.
19. Shrimp progress through 16 stages in an average shrimps lifetime.
20. Shrimp are known for containing very high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which is a nutrient that mammals cannot produce themselves and can only obtain it from their diet.
21. Sadly, there is a very high rate of bycatch when it comes to commercial shrimp fishing. Bycatch is when other varieties of marine animals are caught in the net being used to catch shrimp in the sea.
22. A shrimp's brain is very small in size.
Fun Facts About Shrimp Species
What does a shrimp look like? Let's take a look at these shrimp fun facts about different species of shrimp from all corners of the world.
23. The seven most popular shrimp species commercially fished include the Akamai paste shrimp (Acetes japonicus), banana prawn (Fenneropenaeus Merguiensis), fleshy pawn (Fenneropenaeus Chinensis), Giant tiger prawn (Penaeus Monodon), Northern prawn (Pandalus Borealis), southern rough shrimp (Trachysalambria Curvirostris) and the White leg shrimp (Litopenaeus Vannamei).
24. When it comes to the question how long do shrimp live, most shrimp species live on average from 9 to 18 months. Some, such as the North Atlantic shrimp, live for up to eight years.
25. Some shrimp species are nocturnal, such as the peppermint shrimp.
26. The average shrimp has 10 legs.
27. Shrimps found in tropical climates are often brightly colored.
28. When it comes to brine shrimp facts, astonishingly they can control the amount of salt they take in, better than any other organism on the planet.
29. A freshwater shrimp is a shrimp species that lives in fresh water, and not sea water regions. One such breed is called the Red Cherry shrimp.
30. There are approximately 2,000 different species of shrimp and they don’t all look like the shrimp you see on your plate. That's because they are good at adjusting to their surroundings and are found in both saltwater and freshwater all over the world.
31. Some shrimp species are so tiny in size that you can hardly see them, while many other shrimp species can be as long as 30cm.
32. Some shrimp species can fire water bubbles like bullets at their predators. Pistol shrimps have a unique claw which snaps and forms a water bubble that moves up to 100 kilometers/hour. This creates a bright light of intense heat when it pops- even hotter than the sun!
33. When it comes to more fascinating pistol shrimp facts, this species can regenerate their snapping claw.
34. Native to the Pacific and Indian oceans, the small Harlequin shrimp species uses its large claws to amputate starfish limb for dinner.
35. Indo-Pacific shrimp may live in combination with corals, dining on their host’s mucus and protecting them from predators.
36. When it comes to Mantis shrimp facts, Mantis shrimp are notorious predators, they have spear-like limbs which can impale their marine victims.
37. There are approximately 451 types of Mantis shrimp.
38. The Mantis shrimp type may also attack humans, they are known as “thumb splitters” due to the deep cuts they can cause.
39. The largest Mantis shrimp ever caught was 46cm in size.
40. The Mantis shrimp breeds on average 20-30 times in one life time.
41. The Mantis shrimp is so strong, it could even break an aquarium's glass.
42. A shrimp's color depends on its habitat, some species are able to adapt and change color to blend in.
43. The wild snapping shrimp species produces a noise with their claws that is greater than a gunshot or jet engine.
44. Shrimp are a very important part of the animal food chain.
45. Shrimp are great pets to keep in an aquarium with tropical fish, they will not disturb the fish you currently have and will eat the remnants of any food left behind.
46. If you are looking for a pet shrimp species, the tropical Amano shrimp enjoy warm temperatures with a pH between 6.0 and 7.5 in the tank with plenty of hiding spaces and vegetation.
More Shrimp Fun Facts
There's plenty of shrimp fun facts, here's some more set to amaze you and the kids in your family.
47. Shrimp can dance. To attract fish in the sea, cleaner shrimp wave their white antennae and do a little dance.
48. Shrimps are also great at swimming. They are good at swimming both backwards and forwards in the wild.
49. Shrimp like to hang out with other shrimp, so they live together in groups called ‘schools’ and communicate with each other by making snappy, clicking noises.
50. Shrimp have their own national day. The US celebrates national shrimp day on 10 May.
51. The average common shrimp lifespan is for one to two years, which is the same as a prawn.
52. The majority of shrimp are marine critters while a quarter of the shrimp population is found in freshwater sources.
53. Shrimps can be found in very deep waters that are up to 16,000 feet deep.
54. Many common shrimps glow in the dark because of marine bacteria.
55. Despite their small stature, shrimp crustaceans can still fall victim to microscopic parasites.
56. Shrimps farmed for commercial purposes in China accounts for 55% of the shrimp farmed in the world.
57. All shrimp are born male; many shrimps turn then turn into a female as they grow older.
58. Shrimps do not have fins to swim, instead, they pull their abdomens in tightly to propel themselves forward.
59. Common shrimp can be eaten in many ways such as raw, baked, boiled, fried, grilled, roasted or steamed.
60. Commercial shrimp are often fished in the wild by trawling, through using seine nets or shrimp baiting.
61. Many cities in the US claim to be the shrimp capital of the world, such as Port of Brunswick, and Florida's Saint Augustine.
62. A shrimp cocktail is a popular food dish served in a large glass that contains cold cooked shrimp and a cocktail sauce.
Facts About Shrimp And Diet
When it comes to human consumption what are shrimps good for in terms of nutrients? Let's take a look at these fun facts about shrimp and their dietary value, as well as what do shrimp eat.
63. According to estimations it is believed that the average American adult eats 4 pounds of shrimp every year.
64. Americans eat on average over 1 billion pounds of shrimp a year.
65. Each year over 5 billion pounds of shrimp are produced in the world.
66. Shrimp represent 25 percent of the US nation’s annual per capita region of seafood consumption.
67. Most shrimp live on sea algae and plankton, they will eat almost anything.
68. Several species of shrimp act as cleaners for other marine life, removing bloodsucking parasites from different fishes’ mouths.
69. Shrimps contain far lower levels of mercury when compared to other types of popular seafood.
70. Just 20 types of shrimp out of thousands are widely commercially fished for human consumption and seafood.
71. Over 90% of shrimp consumed in the US comes from farmed shrimp, imported from across the world.
72. As seafood, shrimp is an excellent source of protein. A 100g serving of shrimp contains almost 50% of the recommended Daily Value of protein.
73. 100g serving of cooked shrimp contains 9% of the recommended Daily Value of magnesium.
74. 100g serving of cooked shrimp contains 295 milligrams of potassium.
75. The national dish of Peru is called Ceviche and features shrimp, red onions and lime.
76. There are approximately 481 calories in one pound of shrimp.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 76 Shrimp Facts That Are Shell-tastic then why not take a look at mantis shrimp facts, or jellyfish facts?
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