Q:

What eats shrimp?

A:

Quick Answer

Shrimp are eaten by both Atlantic and Pacific cod, American herring, basking and whale sharks. They are also eaten by croakers, thornbacks, southern stingrays, southern flounders and Greenland halibut. Shrimp are eaten by people as well, who capture more than 3 million tons of the sea food each year.

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Full Answer

A majority of small and medium-sized fish in the open ocean, creatures living on the ocean floor and those that dwell in the ocean's abyss all eat shrimp. Sea creatures that live on the ocean floor, such as pipefish, typically hide in clumps of vegetation and ambush shrimp as they pass. Some sharks, such as the carpet shark, simply hunt along the ocean floor for shrimp. Shrimp are also prey to the viperfish of the deep ocean. In most cases, shrimp do not have any defensive capabilities to get away from their enemies, but shrimp that live in the ocean's abyss have evolved defensive techniques to aid in their escape. The shrimp escape from predators by vomiting a brightly lit mass into their face before swimming away.

There are approximately 2,000 species of shrimp. Some of the larger varieties of shrimp, typically called prawns, sometimes reach up to 1 foot in length and weigh more than 1 pound. Shrimp live in a variety of habitats, including brackish and marine ecosystems and surface waters.

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