Fresh uncooked shrimp in a colander.

What do shrimp eat?

Despite the fact that you may have eaten shrimp, you may not know much about them.

Come learn about shrimp, their habitat, favorite foods, and what consumes them.

Raw shrimp on paper with spices and parsley.

What Is a Shrimp?

It’s almost dinner time and you can’t wait, because tonight one of your favorite foods is on the menu. It’s pink and white and curly, and is sometimes served in its shell. It’s a shrimp.

Shrimps. The fish market.

A shrimp is a small shellfish with long legs and a long body that has a hard casing.  Shrimp don’t have a backbone like you do.  In fact, they have no skeleton at all inside of them.


Instead, they have an exoskeleton, a hard, shell-like covering that serves as both a defense mechanism and  gives their body its shape.   You might have even removed a cooked shrimp’s tough shell so you could eat it.

They are protected by more than just their exoskeleton.  They also have a hard, pointed, beak-like nose that they use to stab at enemies, including people.

Where Do Shrimp Live?

Stack of fresh shrimp

They can be found worldwide in both freshwater and saltwater, and they are good at adjusting to their environments. Others can be up to 12 inches long, while some are so small you hardly notice them.

Shrimp like to hang out with other shrimp, so they live together in groups called ‘schools‘ and talk to each other by making snappy, clicking noises. (Your teacher probably wouldn’t be happy with you if you made those noises in your school, though.

What Do Shrimp Eat?

Shrimp are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and animals.  Shrimp stir up the silt at the bottom of the ocean or take in water, looking for plants and animals to eat.

Plankton, which is made of tiny, simple animals and plants, and algae, a simple type of plant, which Shrimp mostly enjoy eating.

What Eats Shrimp?

side view woman eating shrimp on a skewer with vegetables and sauce on a stand

People are one of many animals, including other animals, who enjoy eating shrimp. In agreeing that shrimp are delectable, fish, crabs, starfish, seabirds, sharks, whales, and dolphins also enjoy a shrimp feast on occasion.


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