Shrimps or prawns are same creatures, they all are decapod crustaceans and do not have different scientific names. You might enjoy the delicious dishes of shrimps or prawns, but do you know they are way strong, they have super natural powers and how much important they are for marine environment. We are here with some interesting facts about shrimps.
1. Shrimps are decapod crustaceans with thin semi transparent exoskeleton. They have long antennas and 2 pincers. The tail section is thick and muscular with fins. There are around 2000 species of them which can be found through out the world, even in Antarctic ocean. Some commonly known species are the Gulf Pink Shrimp, Gulf White Shrimp, and Gulf Brown Shrimp.
They vary in size, most of them are generally 1/2-1 inches long, but some can grow up-to 6 inches, whereas the invasive Tiger shrimp can grow as large as 12 inches.
Shrimps are found in different colors. The colors can depend on their habitat and can be dark brown or green, colorful even transparent also. Bright colored shrimps are found in tropical or sub-tropical regions, brown and green ones found in muddy River beds, the transparent shrimps are commonly seen in clear water.
In general they live about 1 year, but some can survive up-to 7 years, whereas the Hawaiian red shrimp can live beyond 20 years in captivity.
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5. These crustaceans are quite good swimmers. They swim forward slowly using the appendages on the underside of abdomen, but the backward propulsion is extremely quick when needed. They use their tail and abdomen muscle flex to achieve this speed.
These creatures are omnivores. They typically consume microscopic plants and animal matters by filtering the water or moving on the ocean floor. The cleaner shrimps attract fish to come close, so they can feed on the parasites of the host or may be the fish itself. Whereas, the Harlequin shrimp uses the large claws to cut starfish arm and feed on.
Indo-Pacific shrimp live in tandem with corals, they eat their host’s mucus and avail protection from predators. It is a symbiotic relationships between shrimp and corals.
8. A close look to a shrimp will surprise you, as their heart is located on the thorax right pass the head. However, they are covered by a single exoskeleton, so some mistake the thorax as a part of its head.
Shrimps have superpowers, as the Pistol shrimp make very loud noises by their pincers. It is believed they make such sound to communicate or stun other prey, but the sound is terribly loud, louder than any other marine noises which can damage ear drums, the pincer snapping also make the surrounding water hotter than the surface of sun.
The Mantis shrimps are also unique for their capability. They have club like structures, which kept folded but get released with such force that can kill crabs and fish, even capable of breaking aquarium glass also.
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11. They are such delicious to eat and here are the food values, One 100 grams of cooked shrimp contains-
- 99 calories,
- Less than a gram of fat,
- 190 milligrams of cholesterol,
- 110 milligrams of sodium,
- 300 milligrams of potassium,
- Less than a gram of carbohydrates,
- 25 grams of protein,
- 7-8% of daily recommended calcium,
- 2% of daily recommended iron,
- And 9-10% of daily recommended magnesium.
12. Most interestingly the shrimp meat contains selenium, which is an antioxidant mineral that activates enzymes to fight the growth of cancer causing free radicals.
They are also peculiar in terms of reproduction. They go through 16 stages of development, and all shrimps born male, then change themselves to females or continue to stay as males. Females lay 1000-1500 eggs at a time, which break to larvae and become juveniles through five development stages.
Around thousand species only about 20 types of shrimps are commercially fished for human consumption. Some popular species are Akamai paste shrimp, Banana prawn, Fleshy pawn, Giant tiger prawn, Northern prawn, Southern rough shrimp and the White Leg shrimp.
15. Over billion pounds of shrimp are eaten every year, and over five billion pounds of shrimp are produced every single year. Top shrimp consuming countries are China, Japan and United States.
16. They are important for the marine Eco-system. Shrimps are present in large numbers and cleaning the ocean floor from bacteria, fungi and parasites, while they are the food source of many species like crabs, small fish to larger animals like whales.