What Do Shrimps Eat

People love to eat shrimp, but what do shrimp love to eat? Before a shrimp can make it to your plate, they must grow strong and healthy so that they’re worth eating. Their growth requires a specific diet consisting of different types of food. Shrimps are crustaceans and they will eat the same diet for the most part; some different species will go after different types of food. If you are interested in learning more about shrimp, specifically, what they eat, then read on, and you may find the answers you were looking for.

Early years

When shrimp are first born through to about the first year of their existence, they will eat pretty modestly because of their size. For the most part, shrimp will feed on plankton living near the surface of the water. Also, baby shrimp will eat many types of sea plants, sometimes seaweed, as long as it’s small enough for them to ingest.

Pacific cleaner shrimp and the mantis shrimp
The Pacific cleaner shrimp and the mantis shrimp (Stomatopoda)

Grown shrimp

After a shrimp passes its first year, it will grow quite quickly. They will also gain the ability and strength to swim further under the water, which opens up further the varieties of food that they can eat. Shrimp will seek out small worms that they find under the water, and sometimes they will even feed on a certain species of shrimp known as mud shrimp. Another popular food of choice for shrimp is small shellfish; they will, however, eat what they can find, and the only thing that needs to be considered when it comes to choosing their food is the size of the prey.

Dead fish or crab

Sometimes shrimp will be in for a special treat. Shrimp are not averse to feeding off of the dead. In fact, for a shrimp, a dead fish or crab is the ultimate meal. If food is scarce, large shrimp don’t hesitate in going after their own kind, and they are one of the few animals in existence that are cannibals, eating their own kind in order to survive. Whatever food the shrimp chooses will satisfy them, and they keep the ocean food chain flowing by keeping populations in check.

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