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shrimp

shrimp, small marine decapod crustacean with 10 jointed legs on the thorax, well-developed swimmerets on the abdominal segments, and a body that is compressed laterally. Shrimp differ from their close relatives, the lobsters and crabs, in that they are primarily swimmers rather than crawlers. As with other crustaceans, the body is covered with a smooth exoskeleton that must be periodically shed and re-formed as the animal grows. However, the shrimp's exoskeleton tends to be thinner than that of most other crustaceans; it is grayish and almost transparent. In some areas of the United States the term prawn is loosely applied to any large shrimp. However, in Europe, only members of the genus Crangon, distinguished from other shrimp by a slender body and a depressed abdomen, are considered true shrimp, while decapod crustaceans having toothed beaks (rostrums), long antennae, slender legs, and laterally compressed abdomens are called prawns. Tropical shrimp have bizarre shapes and colors. One of the most unusual shrimp is the pistol shrimp, a burrow dweller whose third right appendage is adapted into a huge claw with a moveable finger that can be snapped shut with so much force that the resulting sound waves kill or stun nearby prey.

Shrimp are widely distributed in temperate and tropical salt- and freshwaters. They may grow as long as 9 in. (23 cm), but most are smaller. They swim forward by paddling their abdominal swimmerets and can move backward with swift strokes of their fanlike tails. The common commercial shrimp, of the genus Peneus, is found in coastal waters from Virginia south. Shrimp flesh, which turns pink and white when cooked, is by far the most popular crustacean food and forms the basis of an important industry with centers in all the Gulf states, although most shrimp consumed in the United States are now imported. Shrimp are caught in large baglike nets that are dragged over the ocean floor, or may be raised in ponds on aquaculture farms. The flesh is canned in large quantities; fresh shrimp is packed in ice for shipping, or frozen and packaged. Dried shrimp is also common in Asia.

There are several other crustacean forms that are commonly called shrimp although they do not belong to the same order as the true shrimp, order Decapoda, which also includes the lobsters and crabs. The mantis shrimp, possessing strong grasping legs resembling those of a praying mantis, make up the order Stomatopoda. The tiny brine shrimp and fairy shrimp that seldom reach 1 in. (2.54 cm) in length belong to a completely separate subclass, Branchiopoda, order Anostraca. Two other branchiopods, tadpole shrimp and clam shrimp, are classified in the orders Notostraca and Diplostraca, respectively. Mysid shrimp are members of the order Mysidacea. True shrimp are classified in the phylum Arthropoda, subphylum Crustacea, class Malacostraca, order Decapoda.

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shrimp

shrimp / shrimp/ • n. (pl. same or shrimps ) a small free-swimming crustacean (Pandalus, Penaeus, Crangon, and other genera, order Decapoda) with an elongated body, typically marine and frequently harvested for food. Its numerous species include the commercially important pink shrimp (Penaeus duorarum). ∎ inf., derog. a small, physically weak person. • v. [intr.] fish for shrimp: [as adj.] (shrimping) a shrimping net. DERIVATIVES: shrimp·y adj.

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shrimp

shrimp Mostly marine, swimming crustacean. Its compressed body has long antennae, stalked eyes, a beak-like prolongation, segmented abdomen with five pairs of swimming legs, and a terminal spine. There are true, sand, and pistol shrimps. Large edible shrimps are often called prawns or scampi. Length: 5–7.5cm (2–3in).

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shrimp

shrimp small crustacean; puny person. XIV. Obscurely rel. to MLG. schrempen contract, wrinkle, schrimpen wrinkle the nose, schrumpen wrinkle, fold, MHG. schrimpfen contract, ON. skreppa slip away, and SCRIMP.

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shrimp

shrimp Small prawns; brown shrimp is Crangon crangon, and pink shrimp is Pandalus montagui.

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SHRIMP

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shrimp

shrimpamp, camp, champ, clamp, cramp, damp, encamp, gamp, lamp, ramp, samp, scamp, stamp, tamp, tramp, vamp •firedamp • headlamp • wheel clamp •sidelamp • spotlamp • blowlamp •sunlamp •hemp, kemp, temp •blimp, chimp, crimp, gimp, imp, limp, pimp, primp, scrimp, shrimp, simp, skimp, wimp •chomp, clomp, comp, pomp, romp, stomp, swamp, tromp, whomp, yomp •bump, chump, clump, crump, dump, flump, frump, gazump, grump, hump, jump, lump, outjump, plump, pump, rump, scrump, slump, stump, sump, thump, trump, tump, ump, whump •ski-jump • showjump • handpump •mugwump

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Shrimp

Shrimp

Shrimp are common, small invertebrates that occur in all marine ecosystems; in addition, some species have adapted to living in freshwater. Members of this group (class Crustacea, order Decapoda) are adapted for swimming however, they are commonly bottom-dwelling animals that swim only occasionally.

The body of most species of shrimps is roughly cylindrical in cross-section, though it may be slightly

compressed sideways. The body consists of a well-developed thorax and abdomen enclosed in a tough carapace made of chitin, which often extends to the base of the legs, protecting the delicate gills. The first three pairs of thoracic limbs (or maxillipeds) are modified for use in feeding, specifically for grasping food. The other five pairs of thoracic legs, the first of which is usually larger than the others, have pinching claws that serve in handling prey as well for defensive purposes. These legs are also used for walking. The head is well developed and bears stalked eyes, a pair of mandibles, a pair of antennae, and smaller antennules. The antennae may be considerably longer than the body. Both the antennules and antennae play an important sensory role, detecting prey as well as changes in salinity and watertemperature. At the end of the abdomen there is often a swimming fin formed by structures called the uropods and telson.

Unlike crabs and lobsters, their decapod relatives, shrimp can be highly gregarious and may swim and feed in large schools. Many species of shrimp are nocturnal, remaining concealed amid seaweed or hidden in the crevices of coral reefs during the day. Some species bury themselves in the sand, the only sign of their presence being their long tentacles. At night they emerge to feed on smaller crustaceans, small fish, worms, and the eggs and larvae of a wide range of species.

One group of shrimps has developed an unusual means of capturing prey. The pistol or snapping shrimp (Alphaeidae) live in burrows that they excavate in sand on the seabed. One of their front claws is greatly enlarged, typically measuring more than half of the body length. The tip of this claw is modified as a broad base-plate, to which is attached a hinged joint; this is reminiscent of old-time muskets that had a powder pan, which was ignited when a hammer hit it. The purpose of this device in the snapping shrimps is not primarily to grasp passing prey, but to stun them.

When the shrimp feels threatened or detects potential prey nearby, the hammer is pulled back so that it is at a right angle to the base of the claw. When the hammer is released it produces a loud snapping noise, the shock wave of which can be sufficient to stun or even kill small prey. The prey is then dragged into the shrimps burrow and consumed. Pistol shrimps are also highly territorial, and use their snapping mechanism to deter other shrimp and invertebrates from invading their territory and tunnels.

A number of shrimp species have developed elaborate social relationships with other marine animals. Certain species of shrimps live among the spines of sea urchins and the tentacles of sea anemones, feeding on plankton and small crustaceans. They also feed on the detritus produced as the urchin or anemone eats. The precise benefit to the host is not clear, but the shrimps may help deter small grazing fishes, or they may keep the tentacles or spines of the host free of debris and algae. A much refined association involves the cleaner shrimps, such as species of Periclimenes and Stenopus, which perform an essential service to many large fish by removing parasites from their body and cleaning injured tissues. To do so, the cleaner shrimp may have to enter the mouth of the host, a potentially lethal undertaking in view of the fact that most of the fish are large enough to make a meal out of the shrimp. However, the sanitary service is of such great importance to the fish that it never consumes its hygienist. Many fishes signal their desire to be cleaned by changing their body color, or by opening their mouth and extending their gill covers. In return for this service, the shrimps obtain much, if not all of their daily food requirements by eating the parasites or diseased flesh they find while cleaning. The cleaner shrimps are brightly colored and advertise their services to fish by perching in an exposed place and waving their long tentacles.

During the breeding season, many species of shrimp forsake their usual habitat in shallow water and migrate to deeper places where they mate and lay their eggs. Females lay huge numbers of eggs, often greater than half a million, which are released directly to the water and not retained on the body for hatching (crabs and lobsters do the latter). The microscopic eggs hatch into tiny larvae, known as nauplii, which drift with the current for several weeks before changing to the adult form. As the larvae grow, they undergo a number of molts until they acquire adult characters and eventually migrate toward shallower near-shore habitat where they live until the next breeding season.

Shrimps are an important part of the marine food web. They are eaten by a wide range of fishes, and even by marine mammals such as seals and whales. Larger species of shrimp are also sought out by commercial fisheries, which harvest huge amounts of these crustaceans for human consumption. Some species of shrimps are also cultivated in aquaculture in tropical countries.

See also Zooplankton.

David Stone

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Shrimp

Shrimp

Shrimps are common, small invertebrates that occur in all marine ecosystems; in addition, some species have adapted to living in freshwater . All members of this group (class Crustacea , order Decapoda) are adapted for swimming. Most species, however, are bottom-dwelling animals that swim only occasionally.

The body of most species of shrimps is compressed side-ways, or it may be more cylindrical in cross-section. The body consists of a well-developed thorax and abdomen enclosed in a tough carapace made of chitin, which often extends to the base of the legs, protecting the delicate gills. The first three pairs of thoracic limbs (or maxillipeds) are modified for use in feeding, specifically for grasping food. The other five pairs of thoracic legs, the first of which is usually larger than the others, have pinching claws that serve in handling prey as well for defensive purposes. These legs are also used for walking. The head is well developed and bears stalked eyes, a pair of mandibles, a pair of antennae, and smaller antennules. The antennae may be considerably longer than the body. Both the antennules and antennae play an important sensory role, detecting prey as well as changes in salinity and water temperature . At the end of the abdomen there is often a swimming fin formed by structures called the uropods and telson.

Unlike crabs and lobsters , their decapod relatives, shrimps can be highly gregarious and may swim and feed in large schools. Many species of shrimp are nocturnal, remaining concealed amid seaweed or hidden in the crevices of coral reefs during the day. Some species bury themselves in the sand , the only tell-tale sign of their presence being their long tentacles. At night they emerge to feed on smaller crustaceans, small fish , worms, and the eggs and larvae of a wide range of species.

One group of shrimps has developed an unusual means of capturing prey. The pistol or snapping shrimps (Alphaeidae) live in burrows that they excavate in sand on the seabed. One of their front claws is greatly enlarged, typically measuring more than half of the body length. The tip of this claw is modified as a broad baseplate, to which is attached a hinged joint; this is reminiscent of old-time muskets that had a powder pan which was ignited when a hammer hit it. The purpose of this device in the snapping shrimps is not primarily to grasp passing prey, but to stun them. When the shrimp feels threatened or detects potential prey nearby, the "hammer" is pulled back so that it is at a right angle to the base of the claw. When the hammer is released it produces a loud snapping noise, the shock wave of which can be sufficient to stun or even kill a small prey individual. The prey is then dragged into the shrimp's burrow and consumed. Pistol shrimps are also highly territorial, and use their snapping mechanism to deter other shrimps, and other invertebrates, from invading their territory and tunnels.

A number of shrimp species have developed elaborate social relationships with other marine animals. Certain species of shrimps live among the spines of sea urchins and the tentacles of sea anemones , feeding on plankton and small crustaceans. They also feed on the detritus produced as the urchin or anemone eats. The precise benefit to the host is not clear, but the shrimps may help deter small grazing fishes, or they may keep the tentacles or spines of the host free of debris and algae . A much refined association involves the cleaner shrimps, such as species of Periclimenes and Stenopus, which perform an essential service to many large fish by removing parasites from their body and cleaning injured tissues. To do so, the cleaner shrimps may have to enter the mouth of the host, a potentially lethal undertaking in view of the fact that most of the fish are large enough to make a meal out of the shrimp. However, the sanitary service is of such great importance to the fish that it never consumes its hygienist. Many fishes signal their desire to be cleaned by changing their body color , or by opening their mouth and extending their gill covers. In return for this service, the shrimps obtain much, if not all of their daily food requirements by eating the parasites or diseased flesh they find while cleaning. The cleaner shrimps are brightly colored and advertise their services to fish by perching in an exposed place and waving their long tentacles.

During the breeding season, many species of shrimp forsake their usual habitat in shallow water and migrate to deeper places where they mate and lay their eggs. Females lay huge numbers of eggs, often greater than half a million, which are released directly to the water and not retained on the body for hatching (crabs and lobsters do the latter). The microscopic eggs hatch into tiny larvae, known as nauplii, which drift with the current for several weeks before changing to the adult form. As the larvae grow, they undergo a number of molts until they acquire adult characters and eventually migrate toward shallower near-shore habitat where they live until the next breeding season.

Shrimps are an important part of the marine food web. They are eaten by a wide range of fishes, and even by marine mammals such as seals and whales. Larger species of shrimps are also sought out by commercial fisheries, which harvest huge amounts of these crustaceans for human consumption. Some species of shrimps are also cultivated in aquaculture in tropical countries.

See also Zooplankton.

David Stone

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"Shrimp." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 13, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/shrimp

"Shrimp." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. . Retrieved September 13, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/shrimp

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Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
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