What Do Shrimps Eat?

What Do Shrimps Eat?

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We all know that there are a lot of different creatures in the world, with a lot of them still being undiscovered.

However, there are far more animals in the sea that are yet to be discovered, with a small fraction of the world’s oceans still being untouched by humans and explorers.

It comes as no surprise that many people don’t know what shrimps eat. We’ve all seen them before, whether it’s in person or on TV.

We all know what they look like. But, what do they eat? It’s an interesting question and we’ll do our best to answer the question throughout our guide.

There are lots of different food chains in the ocean, but what lies below shrimp in the hierarchy?

What Is A Shrimp?

What Is A Shrimp?

In case you don’t know what they are, shrimps are creatures that are frequently found in the world’s seas and oceans.

They are small in size compared to humans and have an outer shell that gives them some form of protection, however, if something bigger than them sees them as their next meal, there’s not much protection there.

Technically and officially, shrimps are decapod crustaceans with long bodies. They have a primary swimming mode of locomotion.

These creatures are related to lobsters, however, they are much, much smaller than them. Coming in at around 2 cm long, there are many different species of them found in the waters around the globe.

Differences Between Prawns And Shrimp

Many people might think that shrimp and prawns are very similar because of the way they look and the shape of their bodies, which isn’t considerably dissimilar.

However, there are a few differences that can be seen between the two creatures.

Firstly, prawns have 6 legs that are similar to claws, coming in the form of 3 pairs. However, shrimp only have 1 pair of these legs.

On top of this, prawns have much longer legs than shrimp, which can be seen very easily, making them distinguishable from their smaller counterpart.

Shrimp tend to be a lot smaller than prawns, with some species of prawns being used in food because of their size.

Shrimp is also used a lot throughout the world of food, however, they tend to be a lot smaller than prawns.

What Do Shrimps Eat?

There are a lot of different things that shrimps eat, which might surprise you considering their small size and nature.

However, they eat things that are usually a lot smaller than them, or they pick at things that bigger fish have left uneaten.

For example, if there is something out there that looks like an easy meal, then it’s likely some shrimps will be there to exploit the rewards.


Another form of food that shrimp will find is the snail. Not the type that we see on land, but sea snails and aquatic forms of the creature that live and thrive underwater.

They’re usually dead when the shrimp decide to see them as their next meal, however, they are alive in some cases, if there are enough shrimp, or if the snail is small enough.

Plants – Living And Dead

Dead and living plants are also a great food source for shrimps for a lot of reasons.

One of the main things is that plants can’t move and they can’t fight back, which is always a positive in an ocean full of things that are trying to eat each other.

On top of this, plants are full of vitamins and minerals that are vital to a shrimp’s balanced and healthy diet.


Similar to the last point, algae is also a credible source of food for shrimps to eat and they will be seen ingesting the stuff on a regular basis, when present.

Algae is basically a collective of bacteria that sits in bodies of water, like when you see green stuff floating on the top of your swimming pool.

For us, it can be annoying, but for shrimps, they see an easy snack.

Different Types Of Worms

Different Types Of Worms

Worms are also a meal that many shrimps will see as a quick fix for their hunger problem. Worms are found on the floor of the ocean and come in lots of different shapes, sizes, and forms.

With lots of different species of worm out there, it’s almost like shrimps have a massive menu of food laid out in front of them.

These worms can be alive or decaying after death. However, if the worm is bigger than shrimp, then they might be a handful.

Decaying Fish And Other Shrimp

The law of the ocean is that there’s always a bigger fish! Well, sometimes a smaller fish will be killed by a larger one, but the larger one doesn’t eat it all.

This is where the shrimp comes in. They will see the opportunity and feed on the remains so that they can enjoy a meal without too much hassle.

On top of this, they have a wide range of fish to choose from! It’s all about being opportunistic.


As we’ve mentioned, shrimps are opportunistic and will find a meal if and when it becomes available.

These creatures will also feed on plankton, which are microscopic creatures that drift throughout the oceans and the seas of the world.

On top of this, shrimp will also eat phytoplankton, which are a form of microscopic marine algae.


There you have it! If you couldn’t tell by now, shrimps will basically eat almost anything, especially if it presents itself on a silver platter in front of them.

From plants to dead fish, shrimp will do anything for a meal, but they have to be smart! Because of their small size and their lack of any real weapons, like sharp teeth, they have to be safe and cautious.

On top of this, there have been cases of shrimp eating other shrimp, especially after they’ve died!

At the end of the day, these creatures are fascinating and the list of their potential food sources is basically endless!

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