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small marine decapod crustaceancrustacean
, primarily aquatic arthropod of the subphylum Crustacea. Most of the 44,000 crustacean species are marine, but there are many freshwater forms. The few groups that inhabit terrestrial areas have not been particularly successful in an evolutionary sense; most require
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 with 10 jointed legs on the thorax, well-developed swimmerets on the abdominal segments, and a body that is compressed laterally. Shrimp differ from their close relatives, the lobsters and crabs, in that they are primarily swimmers rather than crawlers. As with other crustaceans, the body is covered with a smooth exoskeleton that must be periodically shed and re-formed as the animal grows. However, the shrimp's exoskeleton tends to be thinner than that of most other crustaceans; it is grayish and almost transparent. In some areas of the United States the term prawn is loosely applied to any large shrimp. However, in Europe, only members of the genus Crangon, distinguished from other shrimp by a slender body and a depressed abdomen, are considered true shrimp, while decapod crustaceans having toothed beaks (rostrums), long antennae, slender legs, and laterally compressed abdomens are called prawns. Tropical shrimp have bizarre shapes and colors. One of the most unusual shrimp is the pistol shrimp, a burrow dweller whose third right appendage is adapted into a huge claw with a moveable finger that can be snapped shut with so much force that the resulting sound waves kill or stun nearby prey.

Shrimp are widely distributed in temperate and tropical salt- and freshwaters. They may grow as long as 9 in. (23 cm), but most are smaller. They swim forward by paddling their abdominal swimmerets and can move backward with swift strokes of their fanlike tails. The common commercial shrimp, of the genus Peneus, is found in coastal waters from Virginia south. Shrimp flesh, which turns pink and white when cooked, is by far the most popular crustacean food and forms the basis of an important industry with centers in all the Gulf states, although most shrimp consumed in the United States are now imported. Shrimp are caught in large baglike nets that are dragged over the ocean floor, or may be raised in ponds on aquaculture farms. The flesh is canned in large quantities; fresh shrimp is packed in ice for shipping, or frozen and packaged. Dried shrimp is also common in Asia.

There are several other crustacean forms that are commonly called shrimp although they do not belong to the same order as the true shrimp, order Decapoda, which also includes the lobsters and crabs. The mantis shrimpmantis shrimp,
marine crustacean of the order Stomatopoda, characterized by a pair of enlarged appendages, called maxillipeds, that form powerful claws for seizing prey.
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, possessing strong grasping legs resembling those of a praying mantis, make up the order Stomatopoda. The tiny brine shrimpbrine shrimp,
common name for a primitive crustacean that seldom reaches more than 1-2 in. (1.3 cm) in length and is commonly used for fish food in aquariums. Brine shrimp, which are not closely related to true shrimp, can be found almost everywhere in the world in inland
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 and fairy shrimp that seldom reach 1 in. (2.54 cm) in length belong to a completely separate subclass, Branchiopoda, order Anostraca. Two other branchiopods, tadpole shrimp and clam shrimp, are classified in the orders Notostraca and Diplostraca, respectively. Mysid shrimp are members of the order Mysidacea. True shrimp are classified in the phylum ArthropodaArthropoda
[Gr.,=jointed feet], largest and most diverse animal phylum. The arthropods include crustaceans, insects, centipedes, millipedes, spiders, scorpions, and the extinct trilobites.
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, subphylum Crustacea, class Malacostraca, order Decapoda.


(invertebrate zoology)
The common name for a number of crustaceans, principally in the decapod suborder Natantia, characterized by having well-developed pleopods and by having the abdomen sharply bent in most species, producing a humped appearance.


1. any of various chiefly marine decapod crustaceans of the genus Crangon and related genera, having a slender flattened body with a long tail and a single pair of pincers
2. any of various similar but unrelated crustaceans, such as the opossum shrimp and mantis shrimp
3. any of various freshwater shrimplike amphipod crustaceans of the genus Gammarus, esp G. pulex
4. any of various shrimplike amphipod crustaceans of the genus Gammarus, esp G. locusta
References in periodicals archive ?
We recommend: Sampler, Sizzling Jumbo Shrimp, Jamaica Freeze
Like jumbo shrimp and civil war, it seems to contradict itself.
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Another delicacy mixed into our platter was jumbo shrimp in pepper sauce.
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The TV spots feature new, modern food photography that is specifically designed to bring out the unique freshness and craveability of Red Lobster's jumbo shrimp dishes.
4 jumbo shrimp (peeled and deveined, tails attached if desired)
As we settle in, my colleague and I start with an authentic Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail (Dh70) of five icy cold jumbo shrimps on a gigantic glass of ice.
When the daytime snook bite turns on, you'll need live mojarras, croakers, mullet, pigfish or jumbo shrimp.
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