Difference between krill and shrimp

Main difference

The main difference between krill and shrimp is that krill is a small, transparent crustacean that has three body segments, while shrimp are large, colorful crustaceans that have two body segments.

Krill vs. shrimp

Krill is a small marine organism. Shrimp is a large lobster. The sort order of krill is Euphausiacea. The shrimp sort order is Decapoda. Krill is transparent in color but offers a red tint in the presence of light. Shrimp is a colorful crustacean. Krill possesses a pair of long antennae. Shrimp have a second pair of antennae compared to krill. Krill have three body parts: head, thorax, and abdomen. Shrimp have two body segments: cephalothorax and abdomen.

Krill is a herbivore. Shrimp is an omnivore. Krill is just a debris feeder, but shrimp have a commensal relationship with other organisms in the ocean. The life expectancy of krill is greater, ten years. Shrimp can live for two years. The body of the krill grows to 15 cm. The body of the shrimp grows up to 30 cm. Some shrimp grow less than an inch.

Krill lays thousands of eggs a year. Shrimp lay millions of eggs a year. Currently about 85 species of krill are known; on the contrary, the shrimp species are higher, which are more than 1900 species. Krill have several legs. The shrimp has ten legs. Krill have auxiliary legs and shrimp have accessory jaws.

Comparative chart

Krill Shrimp
Krill is a small, transparent crustacean that has three body segments. Shrimp are large, colorful crustaceans that have two body segments.
Euphausiacea Decapoda
Small Big in comparison
Transparent Colorful
A pair of antennas Two pairs of antennas
Nutrition mode
Herbivorous Omnivore
Life expectancy
Ten years Up to two years
6 inches Up to 12 inches
Number of eggs
Thousands of eggs a year Millions of eggs per year
Number of species
85 Over 1900
Various Five pairs of legs
Accessory parts
Legs Jaws
What is krill?

Krill is a type of crustacean with a classification order of Euphausiacea. There are about 85 different species of krill in the world. Your body consists of three segments: head, thorax, and abdomen. The shell, a protective sheath, covers your thorax and abdomen. Krill have one pair of antennae and many pairs of legs joined together as appendages in the thoracic region. All species have pairs of auxiliary legs called swimmers. Krill has compound eyes.

They are transparent after the light spot gives them a red appearance. Krill grows up to 30 cm in length. Krill is a herbivore, it eats phytoplankton, a single-celled organism in the oceans. He also eats seaweed. Krill plays a major role in the food chain. Baleen whales, birds, and fish eat krill.

Krill is an excellent source of omega-three fatty acids. They produce enzymes that are involved in wound repair and contact lens cleaning. Krill oil is used as a supplement that can replace fish oil. Krill is rich in good fats, helps fight inflammation, is used as a reliever for arthritis and joint pain, and acts as a heart-healthy substance.

Female krill lay thousands of eggs; it depends on the species if the eggs remain attached to it or separated to hatch. Krill’s life expectancy is up to 10 years. The season is changing in the Arctic and Antarctic regions; therefore, the ice is melting. The loss of ice is diminishing the main food source of ice algae. Other animals whose nutrition depends on krill are also in danger.

What is shrimp?

Shrimp are members of a family of crustaceans. Its classification order is Decapoda with suborder Natantia. The presence of marine shrimp is found throughout the world, from the equator to the polar regions. Shrimp can survive in deep depths and in all kinds of environments. Shrimp is a crustacean with two pairs of antennae and the double tails look like a fish.

Shrimp can grow their bodies over 12 inches. But some shrimp grow small even less than 1 inch. The shrimp body is divided into two segments, the abdomen and the cephalothorax. Shrimp have one pair of mandibles and five pairs of auxiliary jaws. The shrimp encompasses a long abdomen. Their life habits include the bottom of the sea. Some species are sedentary, they hide during low tides.

Shrimp are known as cleaner shrimp as they have the power to eliminate fish parasites and fungi. Some shrimp develop commensal relationships with sea urchins and starfish. Shrimp are scavengers and eat detritus. They sand the ocean and filter the water from small holes to absorb small living organisms. Their diet is made up of plankton and algae; therefore, shrimp are omnivores.

The female prawn lays millions of eggs in a year. Their ability to reproduce can lead to their short life expectancy. Shrimp can live up to two years. Shrimp have a high commercial value. International markets are in high demand for shrimp. Many developing countries depend on shrimp production to improve their economy. In the United States, Spain, Japan and France, most of the money is spent on shrimp production.

Key differences
  1. The sort order of krill is Euphausiacea while the sort order of shrimp is Decapoda.
  2. Krill is small; on the other hand, shrimp is large compared to krill.
  3. Krill is transparent, but when light passes through, it appears red; on the other hand, shrimp is a colorful organism.
  4. Krill has a pair of long antennae; by contrast, shrimp have two pairs of antennae.
  5. Krill have three body segments called the head, thorax, and abdomen; On the other hand, shrimp have two body parts called cephalothorax and abdomen.
  6. Krill is a herbivore that feeds on phytoplankton and algae; on the contrary, shrimp are omnivorous.
  7. Krill can live for more than ten years; on the other hand, the life expectancy of shrimp is two years.
  8. Krill grows up to six inches, while shrimp are small and large. It can be small under an inch and it can be large, growing up to 12 inches.
  9. Krill lays thousands of eggs in a year; on the contrary, shrimp lays millions of eggs a year.
  10. Krill has about 85 species worldwide; on the other hand, the shrimp species are more than 1900.
  11. krill have several pairs of legs, while shrimp have five pairs of legs.
  12. Krill have accessory legs, while shrimp have accessory jaws.

Final Thought

Krill and shrimp are crustaceans. Krill is a small crustacean, whose body is divided into the head, thorax and abdomen. Shrimp is a colorful crustacean; whose body segments include cephalothorax and abdomen.

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