8 Difference between Krill and Shrimp(With Table)

Both Krill and Shrimp are crustaceans. Krill is a small crustacean found in all the world’s oceans. Shrimps are decapod crustaceans with elongated bodies and a primarily swimming mode of locomotion.

The difference between the two is that; the former has a three-segmented body; cephalon, thorax, and abdomen while the latter has a two-segmented body; cephalothorax, and abdomen.

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Difference between Krill and Shrimp

Comparison Table (Krill Vs Shrimp)

 KrillShrimp
MeaningA small crustacean with a three-segmented body.A decapod crustacean with a two-segmented body.
SizeIt is small in size.It is bigger than a krill in size.
Body segmentsIt has three body segments; cephalon, thorax, and abdomen.It has two body segments; cephalothorax and abdomen.
Number of antennaeIt has a pair of antennae.It has two pairs of antennae.
colorThey are mostly transparent.They are colorful.
What they feed onThey are herbivores. They feed on plants.They are omnivores. They feed on both plants and animals.
Number of eggsThey lay a thousand eggs per year.They lay a million eggs per session.
lifespanThey can live up to ten years.They can live up to two years.

What Is Krill?

Krill is a small crustacean that forms swarms in the ocean. Their outer shell is transparent. Their bodies are divided into three segments. That is cephalon, thorax, and abdomen. They have compound eyes on their heads along with a pair of antennae. They can grow up to six inches.

They eat tiny phytoplankton. They use their small, hair-like legs to get these microscopic algae that bloom in the nutrient-rich waters around Antarctica. They are herbivores in that they do not feed on other animals.

However, they are a source of food for other animals in the sea. Whales, dolphins, penguins, and other sea birds feed on them. They are rich in omega 3 fatty acids. They also have enzymes needed to clean wounds and clean contact lenses.

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What Is Shrimp?

Shrimp is a crustacean with long feelers and a double tail. It can grow up to 12 inches. Its body is divided into two segments. That is; cephalothorax and abdomen. Their abdomens are long and they have two pairs of antennae.

They feed on algae, dead plants, living plants, worms (both live and decaying), fish, snails, and even other dead shrimps. That is they feed on both plants and animals. They also pick off fungi and parasites from fish hence they are referred to as cleaner shrimps.

The type of shrimp mostly consumed by humans is the opossum shrimp. Many are red in color while some are pale or translucent. Other types of shrimps include; pistol shrimps which dislocate their claws to make loud cracking noise, king shrimps which live with dead sea plants, mantis shrimps which are the most colorful.

Main Differences between Krill and Shrimp

  1. A krill is a small crustacean with a three-segmented body that is cephalon, thorax, and abdomen while the shrimps are decapod crustaceans with elongated bodies and they have two segmented bodies the cephalothorax and abdomen.
  2. Krill has a pair of antennae while a shrimp has two pairs of antennae.
  3. Krill is an herbivore, it feeds on microscopic algae in the sea while the shrimp is an omnivore, it feeds on both plants and animals.
  4. Krill lays a thousand eggs per year while shrimp lays a million eggs per session.
  5. Krill’s outer shell is transparent hence making it appear transparent while shrimp appears colorful.

Similarities between Krill and Shrimp

  1. They both belong to the phylum Arthropoda and their body is covered with an exoskeleton made of chitin.
  2. They have jointed pairs of legs.
  3. They breathe through gills.
  4. Their nervous system contains a pair of nerve cords.
  5. They have bodies that are segmented.
  6. They are both rich in proteins and omega 3 fatty acids.

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FAQs

Is a krill a type of shrimp?

Both krill and shrimp are crustaceans but belong to different orders. Shrimp is from order Decapoda while krill is from order Euphausiacea.  This makes them different as they do not belong to the same species.

What does krill look like?

Krill has black eyes on its head, it is transparent although its shell has a bright red tinge. They have a hard exoskeleton and their digestive system is visible as it is transparent. They have many legs that they use to swim and eat and their bodies are segmented into three segments.

Do krill eat shrimp?

Krill is an herbivore, it only feeds on plants. This makes it not to feed on shrimp as it is an animal. Krill cannot eat shrimp.

Can humans eat krill?

Yes, humans can eat krill. They are rich in proteins and contain omega 3 fatty acids that are necessary for the human body. They tasty salty with stronger fish flavor as compared to shrimps.

Is it healthy to eat shrimp?

Shrimps have a variety of benefits; it is high in several vitamins and minerals and also a rich source of proteins. It also promotes heart and brain development as it contains omega 3 fatty acids.

Is shrimp a fish?

No, shrimps are crustaceans hence they are not fish, although from a culinary standpoint they are shellfish.

Comparison video

Summary

Krill and shrimp are both crustaceans although they do not belong to the same order hence they are different from each other. The krill is an herbivore while the shrimp is an omnivore. However, they are both rich in proteins and omega 3 fatty acids which are important nutrients for the growth of the heart and brain.

Although they live in water they are not fish, they belong to class crustaceans hence not fish although when eaten they may have fish taste. Krill and shrimp are different both in appearance and characteristics hence they should not be confused.

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