Is Shrimp a Fish? Understanding the Classification of Shrimp

Shrimp are intriguing creatures, often seen dancing through the depths of the sea or gracing our dinner plates with various culinary delights. Despite their aquatic lifestyle, they are not fish. Shrimp are, in fact, part of the crustacean family, which also includes species such as lobsters, crabs, and crayfish. While they share the marine environment with fish, they differ in several key aspects, from their anatomy to their behavior. Let’s dive in and explore the fascinating world of shrimp to understand what truly sets them apart from the fishy neighbors they share their home with.

Shrimp and Fish Overview

Shrimp and fish both live in water, but they’re different. Shrimp have a hard outer shell and ten legs. They’re part of a crustacean group, including crabs and lobsters.

Fish, however, have a backbone, scales, and fins. They come in all sizes, from tiny guppies to large sharks.

So, while they live in the same place, shrimp and fish are quite different in how they look and live.

Shrimp and Fish Overview

What is a Fish?

Fish are animals that live in water. They have a backbone, scales, and fins. Fish come in all different sizes and shapes, like tiny guppies or big sharks. They breathe using gills, which allows them to live underwater.

What are Shrimps?

Shrimp are small animals that live in water. They are part of a group that includes crabs and lobsters. Shrimp have a hard shell on the outside, ten legs, and antennae to feel around. Unlike fish, they don’t have a backbone, but they have a strong shell to keep them safe.

What are Shrimps

Is Shrimp Considered a Fish?

No, shrimp is not considered a fish. Although they both live in water, shrimp and fish are different types of animals. Shrimp belong to a group called crustaceans, while fish are a separate group that has a backbone, scales, and fins. The main difference is that fish have a backbone, and shrimp do not.

Shrimp vs. Prawn

Shrimp and prawns look quite similar, but they’re not the same. Here are some differences:

  • Body and legs: Shrimp have a bent body, shorter legs, and two pairs of legs have claws. Prawns have a straight body and longer legs, and three pairs of legs have claws.
  • Where they live: Shrimp usually live in salty water, like the ocean. Prawns usually live in freshwater, like lakes and rivers.

But, in cooking, many people use shrimp and prawn to mean the same thing. Depending on where you are in the world, the same creature could be called a shrimp or a prawn.

Shrimp vs. Prawn

What do shrimp eat?

Shrimp are not picky eaters. They eat small plants, tiny animals, and even things left over from other animals’ meals. They are good at cleaning up the water they live in.


Are shrimp considered fish? 

No, shrimp are not fish. They are crustaceans, which are a different group of water-dwelling animals.

What’s the difference between shrimp and prawns? 

Shrimp have bent bodies, shorter legs and usually live in salty water. Prawns have a straight body and longer legs and usually live in freshwater.

What do shrimp eat? 

Shrimp eat small plants, tiny animals, and leftovers from other animals’ meals. They help clean up their environment.

Do shrimp have a backbone? 

No, shrimp do not have a backbone. Instead, shrimp have a hard outer shell to protect them.

Are shrimp and prawns the same?

No, shrimp and prawns are not the same. They have different body shapes and usually live in different types of water.

Can shrimp live in fresh and saltwater? 

While most shrimp species live in saltwater, some can live in freshwater too.

how to eat shrimps

Final Thoughts 

Shrimp are special water creatures. They’re not fish or prawns, even if people sometimes get them mixed up. Shrimp have a hard outer shell, eat lots of food, and help clean the water. They can live in both salty and fresh water. So, shrimp are very important, whether they’re swimming in the sea or we’re eating them for dinner!

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