What does a shrimp allergy look like

The following description refers mainly to the external anatomy of the common European shrimp, Crangon crangon, as a typical example of a decapod shrimp. The body of the shrimp is divided into two main parts: the head and thorax which are fused together to form the cephalothorax, and a endless narrow abdomen. The shell which protects the cephalothorax is harder and thicker than the shell elsewhere on the shrimp and is called the carapace. The carapace typically surrounds the gills, through which water is pumped by the action of the mouthparts.[16] The rostrum, eyes, whiskers and legs also issue from the carapace.

The rostrum, from the Latin rōstrum meaning beak, looks love a beak or pointed nose at the front of the shrimp’s head. It is a rigid forward extension of the carapace and can be used for attack or defense. It may also stabilize the shrimp when it swims backward. Two bulbous eyes on stalks sit either side of the rostrum. These are compound eyes which own panoramic vision and are extremely excellent at detecting movement. Two pairs of whiskers (antennae) also issue from the head.

One of these pairs is extremely endless and can be twice the length of the shrimp, while the other pair is fairly short. The antennae own sensors on them which permit the shrimp to feel where they touch, and also permit them to «smell» or «taste» things by sampling the chemicals in the water. The endless antennae assist the shrimp orient itself with regard to its immediate surroundings, while the short antennae assist assess the suitability of prey.[3][10]

Eight pairs of appendages issue from the cephalothorax.

The first three pairs, the maxillipeds, Latin for «jaw feet», are used as mouthparts. In Crangon crangon, the first pair, the maxillula, pumps water into the gill cavity. After the maxilliped come five more pairs of appendages, the pereiopods. These form the ten decapod legs. In Crangon crangon, the first two pairs of pereiopods own claws or chela. The chela can grasp food items and bring them to the mouth. They can also be used for fighting and grooming. The remaining four legs are endless and slender, and are used for walking or perching.[3][10][12][17]

The muscular abdomen has six segments and has a thinner shell than the carapace.

Each segment has a separate overlapping shell, which can be transparent. The first five segments each own a pair of appendages on the underside, which are shaped love paddles and are used for swimming forward. The appendages are called pleopods or swimmerets, and can be used for purposes other than swimming. Some shrimp species use them for brooding eggs, others own gills on them for breathing, and the males in some species use the first pair or two for insemination. The sixth segment terminates in the telson flanked by two pairs of appendages called the uropods. The uropods permit the shrimp to swim backward, and function love rudders, steering the shrimp when it swims forward. Together, the telson and uropods form a splayed tail fan.

If a shrimp is alarmed, it can flex its tail fan in a rapid movement. This results in a backward dart called the caridoid escape reaction (lobstering).[3][10][12]


There are numerous variations in the ways diverse types of shrimp glance and act. Even within the core group of caridean shrimp, the little delicate Pederson’s shrimp (above) looks and behaves fairly unlike the large commercial pink shrimp or the snapping pistol shrimp.[12] The caridean family of pistol shrimp are characterized by large asymmetrical claws, the larger of which can produce a noisy snapping sound.

What does a shrimp allergy glance like

The family is diverse and worldwide in distribution, consisting of about 600 species.[22] Colonies of snapping shrimp are a major source of noise in the ocean and can interfere with sonar and underwater communication.[23][24][25] The little emperor shrimp has a symbiotic relationship with sea slugs and sea cucumbers, and may assist hold them clear of ectoparasites.[26]

Most shrimp are omnivorous, but some are specialised for specific modes of feeding.

Some are filter feeders, using their setose (bristly) legs as a sieve; some scrape algae from rocks. Cleaner shrimp feed on the parasites and necrotic tissue of the reef fish they groom.[16] Some species of shrimp are known to cannibalize others as well if other food sources are not readily available. In turn, shrimp are eaten by various animals, particularly fish and seabirds, and frequently host bopyrid parasites.[16]


Females of the freshwater shrimp Caridina ensifera are capable of storing sperm from multiple partners, and thus can produce progeny with diverse paternities.[27] Reproductive success of sires was found to correlate inversely with their genetic relatedness to the mother.[27] This finding suggests that sperm competition and/or pre- and post-copulatory female choice occurs.

Female choice may increase the fitness of progeny by reducing inbreeding depression that ordinarily results from the expression of homozygous deleterious recessive mutations.[28]


Shrimp and prawn


From Raymond Bauer in Remarkable Shrimps:[6]

  1. Shrimp is characteristically used to refer to those crustaceans with endless antennae, slender legs, and a laterally compressed, muscular abdomen that is highly adapted for both forward swimming and a backward (retrograde) escape response.
  2. Prawn is often used as a synonym of shrimp for penaeoidean and caridean shrimp, especially those of large size.

From the English Oxford Dictionaries:

  1. Shrimp: a little free-swimming crustacean with an elongated body, typically marine and frequently of commercial importance as food.[7]
  2. Prawn: a marine crustacean which resembles a large shrimp.[8]

Shrimp are swimming crustaceans with endless narrow muscular abdomens and endless antennae.

Unlike crabs and lobsters, shrimp own well developed pleopods (swimmerets) and slender walking legs; they are more adapted for swimming than walking. Historically, it was the distinction between walking and swimming that formed the primary taxonomic division into the previous suborders Natantia and Reptantia. Members of the Natantia (shrimp in the broader sense) were adapted for swimming while the Reptantia (crabs, lobsters, etc.) were adapted for crawling or walking.[9] Some other groups also own common names that include the expression «shrimp»;[10] any little swimming crustacean resembling a shrimp tends to be called one.[3]

Differences between shrimp, lobsters and crabs
    shrimp     lobsters         crabs
Shrimp are slender with endless muscular abdomens.

They glance somewhat love little lobsters, but not love crabs. The abdomens of crabs are little and short, whereas the abdomens of lobsters and shrimp are large and endless. The lower abdomens of shrimp support pleopods which are well-adapted for swimming. The carapaces of crabs are wide and flat, whereas the carapaces of lobsters and shrimp are more cylindrical. The antennae of crabs are short, whereas the antennae of lobsters and shrimp are generally endless, reaching more than twice the body length in some shrimp species.[3][10][11][12]

Clawed lobsters(pictured left) and spiny lobsters(pictured right) are an intermediate evolutionary development between shrimp and crabs.

They glance somewhat love large versions of shrimp. Clawed lobsters own large claws while spiny lobsters do not, having instead spiny antennae and carapace. Some of the biggest decapods are lobsters. Love crabs, lobsters own robust legs and are highly adapted for walking on the seafloor, though they do not stroll sideways. Some species own rudimentary pleopods, which give them some ability to swim, and love shrimp they can lobster with their tail to escape predators, but their primary mode of locomotion is walking, not swimming.[3][10][11][13]

Crabs evolved from early shrimp, though they do not glance love shrimp.

Unlike shrimp, their abdomens are little, and they own short antennae and short carapaces that are wide and flat. They own prominent grasping claws as their front pair of limbs. Crabs are adapted for walking on the seafloor. They own robust legs and generally move about the seafloor by walking sideways. They own pleopods, but they use them as intromittent organs or to hold egg broods, not for swimming. Whereas shrimp and lobsters escape predators by lobstering, crabs cling to the seafloor and burrow into sediment.

Compared to shrimp and lobsters, the carapaces of crabs are particularly heavy, hard and mineralized.[3][10][11][14][15]

Human uses


In 1991, archeologists suggested that ancient raised paved areas near the coast in Chiapas, Mexico, were platforms used for drying shrimp in the sun, and that adjacent clay hearths were used to dry the shrimp when there was no sun.[60][61] The evidence was circumstantial, because the chitinous shells of shrimp are so thin they degrade rapidly, leaving no fossil remains.

In 1985 Quitmyer and others found direct evidence dating back to 600 AD for shrimping off the southeastern coast of North America, by successfully identifying shrimp from the archaeological remains of their mandibles (jaws).[62][63][64] Clay vessels with shrimp decorations own been found in the ruins of Pompeii.[64] In the 3rd century AD, the Greek author Athenaeus wrote in his literary work, Deipnosophistae; «… of every fish the daintiest is a young shrimp in fig leaves.»[65]

In North America, indigenous peoples of the Americas captured shrimp and other crustaceans in fishing weirs and traps made from branches and Spanish moss, or used nets woven with fibre beaten from plants.

At the same time early European settlers, oblivious to the «protein-rich coasts» every about them, starved from lack of protein.[64] In 1735 beach seines were imported from France, and Cajun fishermen in Louisiana started catching white shrimp and drying them in the sun, as they still do today.[64] In the mid nineteenth century, Chinese immigrants arrived for the California Gold Rush, numerous from the Pearl River Delta where netting little shrimp had been a tradition for centuries.

Some immigrants starting catching shrimp local to San Francisco Bay, particularly the little inch endless Crangon franciscorum. These shrimp burrow into the sand to hide, and can be present in high numbers without appearing to be so. The catch was dried in the sun and was exported to China or sold to the Chinese community in the United States.[64] This was the beginning of the American shrimping industry. Overfishing and pollution from gold mine tailings resulted in the decline of the fishery. It was replaced by a penaeid white shrimp fishery on the South Atlantic and Gulf coasts. These shrimp were so abundant that beaches were piled with windrows from their moults.

Modern industrial shrimping methods originated in this area.[64]

«»For shrimp to develop into one of the world’s most favorite foods, it took the simultaneous development of the otter trawl… and the internal combustion engine.»[64] Shrimp trawling can capture shrimp in huge volumes by dragging a net along the seafloor. Trawling was first recorded in England in 1376, when King Edward III received a request that he ban this new and destructive way of fishing.[66] In 1583, the Dutch banned shrimp trawling in estuaries.[67]

In the 1920s, diesel engine were adapted for use in shrimp boats.

Power winches were connected to the engines, and only little crews were needed to rapidly lift heavy nets on board and empty them. Shrimp boats became larger, faster, and more capable. New fishing grounds could be explored, trawls could be deployed in deeper offshore waters, and shrimp could be tracked and caught circular the year, instead of seasonally as in earlier times. Larger boats trawled offshore and smaller boats worked bays and estuaries. By the 1960s, steel and fibreglass hulls further strengthened shrimp boats, so they could trawl heavier nets, and steady advances in electronics, radar, sonar, and GPS resulted in more sophisticated and capable shrimp fleets.[64]

As shrimp fishing methods industrialised, parallel changes were happening in the way shrimp were processed.

«In the 19th century, sun dried shrimp were largely replaced by canneries. In the 20th century, the canneries were replaced with freezers.»[64]

In the 1970s, significant shrimp farming was initiated, particularly in China. The farming accelerated during the 1980s as the quantity of shrimp demand exceeded the quantity supplied, and as excessive bycatch and threats to endangered sea turtle became associated with trawling for wild shrimp.[64] In 2007, the production of farmed shrimp exceeded the capture of wild shrimp.[59]

Commercial species

Although there are thousands of species of shrimp worldwide, only about 20 of these species are commercially significant.

The following table contains the principal commercial shrimp, the seven most harvested species. Every of them are decapods; most of them belong to the Dendrobranchiata and four of them are penaeid shrimp.

Principal commercial shrimp species
Group Common name Scientific name Description Max length (mm) Depth (m) Habitat FAO WoRMS 2010 production (thousand tonnes)
wild farmed total
Dendrobranchiata Whiteleg shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei(Boone, 1931) The most extensively farmed species of shrimp.

230 0–72 marine, estuarine [68][69] [70] 1 2721 2722
Giant tiger prawn Penaeus monodonFabricius, 1798 336 0–110 marine, estuarine [71][72] [73] 210 782 992
Akiami paste shrimp Acetes japonicusKishinouye, 1905 Most intensively fished species. They are little with black eyes and red spots on the uropods.[74] Only a little quantity is sold unused, most is dried, salted or fermented.[74] 30 shallow marine [75][76] [77] 574 574
Southern rough shrimp Trachysalambria curvirostris(Stimpson, 1860) Easier to catch at night, and fished only in waters less than 60 m (200 ft) deep.[78] Most of the harvest is landed in China.[79] 98 13–150 marine [80][81] [82] 294 294
Fleshy prawn Fenneropenaeus chinensis(Osbeck, 1765) Trawled in Asia where it is sold frozen.

Exported to Western Europe. Cultured by Japan and South Korea in ponds.[83]

183 90–180 marine [83][84] [85] 108 45 153
Banana prawn Fenneropenaeus merguiensis(De Man, 1888) Typically trawled in the wild and frozen, with most catches made by Indonesia. Commercially significant in Australia, Pakistan and the Persian Gulf. Cultured in Indonesia and Thailand. In India it tends to be confused with Fenneropenaeus indicus, so its economic status is unclear.[86] 240 10–45 marine, estuarine [86][87] [88] 93 20 113
Caridea Northern prawn Pandalus borealis(Krøyer, 1838) Widely fished since the early 1900s in Norway, and later in other countries following Johan Hjort’s practical discoveries of how to locate them.

They own a short life which contributes to a variable stock on a annually basis. They are not considered overfished.

165 20–1380 marine [89][90] [91] 361

The Shrimp Girl by William Hogarth, circa 1740–1745, balances on her head a large basket of shrimp and mussels, which she is selling on the streets of London

Commercial production of shrimps (and prawns) in million tonnes as reported by the FAO, 1950–2009[59]

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  • Q: I own shellfish allergy, which I found out in college. I began noticing reactions to shrimp, lobster, mussels and clams. These allergies were confirmed with allergy testing. What I’m not clear on: would it be safe for me to eat calamari? I did used to eat it before my other reactions over the past three years.

    Dr. Sharma: Since seafood allergy is the most common food allergy in adults, there are undoubtedly numerous others who share your question.

    For those allergic to shellfish, it’s significant first to understand the categories of shellfish.

    These include crustaceans (crab, shrimp, lobster, prawns and crawfish) and mollusks (squid or calamari, snails, and bivalves such as mussels, clams, oysters and scallops).

    Several types of shellfish may own similarities in their chemical structure due to a shared protein called tropomysin. This makes it possible for the immune system to “see” these diverse kinds of shellfish as similar.

    Reacting to More Than 1 Kind

    Based on a few limited studies, about 40 percent of people with allergy to crustaceans may react to other crustaceans. Meantime, 50 percent of those allergic to mollusks report reactions to more than one mollusk.

    A smaller population, between 10 to 15 percent, are allergic to both crustaceans and mollusks.

    Given this information, numerous allergists will recommend avoidance of every shellfish if someone has had a life-threatening reaction to any helpful of shellfish.

    Tolerating Calamari, or Not

    For those who own had non-life-threatening reactions to a specific shellfish, an allergist might act out testing, such as skin and blood testing, to the other shellfish.

    Based on the results of such tests, the allergist is capable to decide whether to pursue an oral food challenge to assess whether other shellfish may be tolerated.

    In your case, you own reacted to both crustaceans and mollusks, suggesting a high likelihood that you might also react to calamari, a mollusk. But be certain to discuss with your allergist whether testing to squid is indicated based on your specific history.

    Lastly, even if you are not allergic to some types of shellfish, you will need to be careful to avoid cross-contact with your allergens in restaurants and fish markets.


    Sharma is an allergist, clinical researcher and associate professor of pediatrics. He is Chief of the Division of Allergy and Immunology at Children’s National Medical Middle in Washington D.C. and Director of the Food Allergy Program. He co-authors “The Food Allergy Experts” column in Allergic Living e-magazine. Questions submitted will be considered for answer in the magazine.

    Related Reading:
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    Can You be Allergic to every Fish But One?
    How Can an Adult Develop a Shrimp Allergy?

    Submit a Question View every posts by this medical expert.

    What is a Food Allergy? There Are Diverse Types of Allergic Reactions to Foods


    Shrimp are widespread, and can be found near the seafloor of most coasts and estuaries, as well as in rivers and lakes. There are numerous species, and generally there is a species adapted to any specific habitat.[3] Most shrimp species are marine, although about a quarter of the described species are found in unused water.[18] Marine species are found at depths of up to 5,000 metres (16,000 ft),[16] and from the tropics to the polar regions.

    Although shrimp are almost entirely fully aquatic, the two species of Merguia are semi-terrestrial and spend a significant part of their life on land in mangrove.[19][20]



    There is little agreement among taxonomists concerning the phylogeny of crustaceans.[29] Within the decapods «every study gives totally diverse results. Nor do even one of these studies match any of the rival morphology studies».[30] Some taxonomists identify shrimp with the infraorder Caridea and prawns with the suborder Dendrobranchiata.[31] While diverse experts give diverse answers, there is no disagreement that the caridean species are shrimp.[3] There are over 3000 caridean species.[32] Occasionally they are referred to as «true shrimp».[33]

    Traditionally decapods were divided into two suborders: the Natantia (or swimmers), and the Reptantia (or walkers).

    The Natantia or swimmers included the shrimp. They were defined by their abdomen which, together with its appendages was well adapted for swimming. The Reptantia or walkers included the crabs and lobsters. These species own little abdominal appendages, but robust legs well adapted for walking. The Natantia was thought to be paraphyletic, that is, it was thought that originally every decapods were love shrimp.[34]

    However, classifications are now based on clades, and the paraphyletic suborder Natantia has been discontinued. «On this basis, taxonomic classifications now divide the order Decapoda into the two suborders: Dendrobranchiata for the largest shrimp clade, and Pleocyemata for every other decapods.

    The Pleocyemata are in turn divided into half a dozen infra-orders»[34]

    1. The taxonomists De Grave and Fransen, 2011, recognise four major groups of shrimp: the suborder Dendrobranchiata and the infraorders Procarididea, Stenopodidea and Caridea».[35] This group is identical to the traditional Natantia group, and contains decapods only.
    2. All shrimp of commercial interest belong to the Natantia.

      What does a shrimp allergy glance like

      The FAO determine the categories and terminology used in the reporting of global fisheries. They define a shrimp as a «decapod crustacean of the suborder Natantia».[36]

    3. According to the Codex Alimentarius Commission of the FAO and WHO: «The term shrimp (which includes the frequently used term prawn) refers to the species covered by the most recent edition of the FAO listing of shrimp, FAO Species Catalogue, Volume 1, Shrimps and prawns of the world, an annotated catalogue of species of interest to fisheries FAO Fisheries Synopsis No.

      125.»[37] In turn, the Species Catalogue says the highest category it deals with is «the suborder Natantia of the order Crustacea Decapoda to which every shrimps and prawns belong».[38]

    Major shrimp groups of the Natantia
    Order Suborder Infraorder Image Extant species [32] Description
    Decapoda Dendrobranchiata 533

    Penaeid shrimp

    A particularly significant family in this suborder is the Penaeidae, often referred to as penaeid shrimp or penaeid prawn.

    Most commercially significant species are in this family. See below.

    The species in this suborder tend to be larger than the caridean shrimp species under, and numerous are commercially significant. They are sometimes referred to as prawns. Dendrobranchiata, such as the giant tiger prawn pictured, typically own three pairs of claws, though their claws are less conspicuous than those of other shrimp. They do not brood eggs love the caridean, but shed them directly into the water.

    Their gills are branching, whereas the gills of caridean shrimp are lamellar. The segments on their abdomens are even-sized, and there is no pronounced bend in the abdomen.[3][6][13][39]

    Pleocyemata Caridea 3438 The numerous species in this infraorder are known as caridean shrimp, though only a few are commercially significant. They are generally little, nocturnal, hard to discover (they burrow in the sediment), and of interest mainly to marine biologists. Caridean shrimp, such as the pink shrimp pictured, typically own two pairs of claws.

    Female carideans attach eggs to their pleopods and brood them there. The second abdominal segment overlaps both the first and the third segment, and the abdomen shows a pronounced caridean bend.[3][9][39][40]

    Procarididea 6 A minor sister group to the Caridea (immediately above)
    Stenopodidea 71 Known as boxer shrimp, the members of this infraorder are often cleaner shrimp. Their third pair of walking legs (pereiopods) are greatly enlarged.

    What does a shrimp allergy glance like

    The banded coral shrimp(pictured) is favorite in aquariums. The Stenopodidea are a much smaller group than the Dendrobranchia and Caridea, and own no commercial importance.[41]

    Other decapod crustaceans also called shrimp, are the ghost or mud shrimp belonging to the infra-order Thalassinidea. In Australia they are called yabbies.[42] The monophyly of the group is not certain; recent studies own suggested dividing the group into two infraorders, Gebiidea and Axiidea.[35]


    A shrimp seems to be almost any crustacean that isn’t a lobster, barnacle, or crab

    Greg Jensen [3]

    A wide variety of non-decapod crustaceans are also commonly referred to as shrimp.

    This includes the brine shrimp, clam shrimp, fairy shrimp and tadpole shrimp belonging to the branchiopods, the lophogastridan shrimp, opossum shrimp and skeleton shrimp belonging the Malacostraca; and seed shrimp which are ostracods.[3] Numerous of these species glance fairly unlike the commercial decapod shrimp that are eaten as seafood. For example, skeleton shrimp own short legs and a slender tail love a scorpion tail, fairy shrimp swim upside below with swimming appendages that glance love leaves, and the tiny seed shrimp own bivalved carapaces which they can open or close.[12]Krill resemble miniature shrimp, and are sometimes called «krill shrimp».[43][44]

    Other species groups commonly known as shrimp
    Class Image Group Extant species Description
    Branchiopoda Branchiopoda comes from the Greek branchia meaning gills, and pous meaning feet.[45] They own gills on their feet or mouthparts.[46]
    brine shrimp 8 Brine shrimp belong to the genus Artemia.

    They live in inland saltwater lakes in unusually high salinities, which protects them from most predators. They produce eggs, called cysts, which can be stored in a dormant state for endless periods and then hatched on demand. This has led to the extensive use of brine shrimp as fish feed in aquaculture.[47][47] Brine shrimp are sold as novelty gifts under the marketing name Sea-Monkeys.

    clam shrimp 150 Clam shrimp belong to the group Conchostraca. These freshwater shrimp own a hinged bivalved carapace which can open and shut.
    fairy shrimp 300 Fairy shrimp belong to the class Anostraca.

    These 1–10 cm endless freshwater or brackish shrimp own no carapace. They swim upside below with their stomach uppermost, with swimming appendages that glance love leaves. Most fairy shrimp are herbivores, and eat only the algae in the plankton. Their eggs can survive drought and temperature extremes for years, reviving and hatching after the rain returns.[48]

    tadpole shrimp 20 Tadpole shrimp belong to the family Notostraca. These living fossils own not much changed since the Triassic.

    They are drought-resistant and can be found preying on fairy shrimp and little fish at the bottom of shallow lakes and temporary pools.[49] The longtail tadpole shrimp(pictured) has three eyes and up to 120 legs with gills on them.[50] It lives for 20–90 days. Diverse populations can be bisexual, unisexual or hermaphroditic.

    Malacostraca Malacostraca comes from the Greek malakós meaning soft and óstrakon meaning shell.[51] The name is misleading, since normally the shell is hard, and is soft only briefly after moulting.[52]
    Lophogastrida 56 These marine pelagic shrimp make up the order Lophogastrida.

    They mostly inhabit relatively deep pelagic waters throughout the world. Love the related opossum shrimp, females lophogastrida carry a brood pouch.[53]

    mantis shrimp 400 Mantis shrimp, so called because they resemble a praying mantis, make up the order Stomatopoda. They grow up to 38 cm (15 in) endless, and can be vividly coloured. Some own powerful spiked claws which they punch into their prey, stunning, spearing and dismembering them. They own been called «thumb splitters» because of the severe gashes they can inflict if handled carelessly.[54]
    opossum shrimp 1,000 Opossum shrimp belong to the order Mysida.

    They are called opossum shrimp because the females carry a brood pouch. Generally less than 3 cm endless, they are not closely related to caridean or penaeid shrimp. They are widespread in marine waters, and are also found in some brackish and freshwater habitats in the Northern hemisphere. Marine mysids can form large swarms and are an significant source of food for numerous fish. Some freshwater mysids are found in groundwater and anchialine caves.[53][55]

    skeleton shrimp Skeleton shrimp, sometimes known as ghost shrimp, are amphipods.

    Their threadlike slender bodies permit them to virtually vanish among fine filaments in seaweed. Males are generally much larger than females.[56][57] For a excellent account of a specific species, see Caprella mutica.

    Ostracoda Ostracod comes from the Greek óstrakon meaning shell. In this case, the shells are in two parts, love those of bivalves or clams.
    seed shrimp 13,000 Seed shrimp make up the class Ostracoda.

    This is a class of numerous little crustacean species which glance love seeds, typically about one millimetre (0.04 in) in size. Their carapace looks love a clam shell, with two parts held together by a hinge to permit the shell to open and shut. Some marine seed shrimp drift as pelagic plankton, but most live on the sea floor and burrow in the upper sediment layer. There are also freshwater and terrestrial species. The class includes carnivores, herbivores, filter feeders and scavengers.[58]

    Some mantis shrimp are a foot endless, and own bulging eyes, a flattened tail and formidable claws equipped with clubs or sharp spikes, which it can use to knock out its opponents.[12][54]