What Are Some Facts About Shrimp?

Shrimp are among the most numerous animals that live in the ocean. Their habitats range all over the world, as they are one of the most versatile species on the planet, able to live in just about any water as long as there is an ample food supply.

Most species of shrimp tend to gather around inner coastal areas and estuaries, where food is the most plentiful. While most of the planet's shrimp live in salt water, around 25 percent of them live in freshwater. Additionally, shrimp that live in the ocean can survive depths of up to 16,000 feet deep.

While individual species can vary a great deal in their physical characteristics, most species of shrimp have several characteristics in common, including a body that is divided into two parts, a hard, protective shell and a mouth that works together with the animal's gills. Most shrimp gather food by sifting the sand on the ocean floor or filter feeding through the ocean's water for tiny, microscopic plants and animals called plankton. As a result, shrimp are considered omnivores.

Finally, shrimp live in social structures called schools, just like many types of fish. While within schools, researchers have discovered that shrimp can use audio cues to communicate with other members of the species. Snapping and clicking are the most common sounds, and they are used not only in communication, but warding off predators as well.