Crawfish and shrimp are two types of crustaceans that are known to be used as food. These creatures may look different but each has its own importance and distinctive features.
So, what is the difference between crawfish and shrimp? A crawfish is an exclusively freshwater decapod with a pair of large front claws while the shrimp is a salty water decapod with a long tail.
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Comparison Table (Crawfish vs Shrimp)
|Meaning||Refers to a large edible crustacean with a spiny shell and a long heavy antenna, but lacking the large claws of a true lobster.||Refers to a decapod with a long antenna, slender legs, and literally compressed muscular abdomen that is highly adapted for both forward and backward swimming.|
|Habitat||Inhabits freshwater bodies.||Inhabits salty water bodies.|
|Size||Smaller in body size.||Comparatively larger in body size.|
|Color||Can be red, orange, dark green, black, or white in color.||Can be brown, pink, or white in color.|
|Front claws||Has a pair of large front claws.||Does not have large front claws.|
|Activity||Active at night.||Active during the day.|
|Method of preparation||Mostly prepared using the boiling method.||Can be prepared using various types of cooking methods.|
|What they feed on||They feed on invertebrate pellets or blanched vegetables.||They feed on plant matter, dead fish, clams, snails, and crabs.|
What is Crawfish?
Crawfish is a decapod that lives in freshwater bodies. It has a large heavy antenna but lacks the large claws of a true lobster. It is also referred to as crayfish. They are mostly confused with lobsters but lobsters are their relatives who stay in salty water bodies.
Most species of crawfish are natives of North American rivers, lakes, swamps, and wetlands. It is a nocturnal animal that hides under the rock. As they are active at night, they can be grown together with rice paddies.
They come in different colors. They can be red, orange, dark green-black, or white in color. They are mainly prepared using the boiling method and served along with seasonings. They are rich in proteins and minerals such as calcium and magnesium.
What is a Shrimp?
A shrimp is a decapod that lives in salty water. It has a long antenna, slender legs, and a laterally compressed muscular abdomen that is highly adapted for both forward and backward swimming. The long abdomen is made up of several stacks.
Most shrimp species are found in the USA. They are generally known as cleaner shrimps since they clear off parasites and fungi from fish. They live as commensals with the sea urchins and starfish. They are mostly active during the day so that they may be able to clean the fish.
They feed on plant matter, dead fish, clams, crabs, and snails. They are prepared using various cooking methods besides boiling. They provide a protein that is low in calories and fats.
Main Differences between a Crawfish and a Shrimp
- Crawfish inhabits freshwater bodies while shrimp inhabits salty water bodies.
- Crawfish are small in body size while shrimp are comparatively larger in body size.
- Crawfish have a pair of large front claws while shrimps do not have large front claws.
- Crawfish are active at night while shrimps are active during the day.
- Crawfish is mainly prepared using the boiling method while shrimp is prepared using various cooking methods.
Similarities between a Crawfish and a Shrimp
- Both are types of crustaceans.
- They are both rich in calories, proteins, cholesterol, and low fats.
- They both crawl along the muddy or sandy bottoms.
- They both have two pairs of antenna and compound eyes.
- They have two body segments; abdomen and cephalothorax.
- Their bodies are covered with an exoskeleton made of chitin.
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Crawfish and shrimp are both crustaceans. Crawfish is a small freshwater decapod with large front claws, shrimps are comparatively large, saltwater decapod with a long abdomen. Both are used as food, and they are delicious. The main features that make crawfish different from shrimp are the anatomical features and the habitat.
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