Shrimp and Prawn, similarities and Differences

Table of Contents

What is a shrimp? What is a prawn?

Probably in answer to this question, you would say, “Well, it’s obvious.” Both are the same and British people generally use the word “prawn” while Americans mostly use the word “shrimp.” Or you could say that their difference is in their size and prawns are larger than shrimp.

Don’t get it wrong! Shrimp and prawn are different.

Do you agree to know these two delicious aquatic better?

Most people in the world confuse shrimp and prawn with each other and use them interchangeably. Well, we agree that their similarities make you confused. For example, both of them are ten-legged crustaceans, their appearance is very similar, both are delicious and beneficial for your body; but these are their only similarities. Shrimp and prawn have several noticeable and unnoticeable differences that help you to know them better. Let’s see them together.

In terms of classification and anatomy

In a more detailed division, shrimps belong to the suborder Pleocymata. These creatures have sheet-shaped gills. Their body consists of three parts: head, thorax and abdomen, which the thorax covering the head and abdomen. They have two pairs of clawed legs and their bodies are curved.

Prawns belong to the suborder Dendrobranchiata. Their gills are branched. Each part of their body covers the next part; That is, the head overlaps with the thorax and the thorax overlaps with the abdomen. Prawns have three pairs of clawed legs and their bodies are not curved as shrimps.

Well, these differences were about the appearance and anatomy of shrimp and prawn. We think that you have been able to know these two aquatic creatures better with these descriptions. Shrimp and Prawn also have other differences.

Although both of these organisms are found in both salt and fresh water, shrimps live mostly in salt water and prawns are usually found in fresh water. Depending on the species, shrimps and prawns may live in both cold and warm waters.

Their taste and nutritional value

If you ask about the taste and texture of shrimp and prawn, we must say that both have the same taste. No matter which one you choose, they both taste great, are a good source of protein, are high in healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, and are low in calories.

In fact, the only factor that may cause “a slight difference in the taste and texture of shrimp and prawns is related to their habitat and their diet. So their taste and texture is not a good way to distinguish between them”.

Their size

You have probably heard that one way to distinguish between shrimp and prawn is their size. If they are large, they are prawns, and if they are small, they are shrimp. But this is not a reliable way. It is true that prawns are usually larger than shrimps, but both of these creatures come in different sizes and large shrimps may be larger than prawns.

Their shell

shrimps have a tough and hard shell that plays a protective role against other creatures and environmental conditions. Prawns have a softer shell and usually use their long tail for defense.

Their speed

Since shrimps have a curved and harder body, they swim at a slower speed. Meanwhile, the straighter and narrower body shape of prawns increases their speed while swimming.

Food habits

Shrimps generally feed on small marine animals and insects. Prawns choose small marine animals and aquatic plants for their food.

you see? Despite their similarities, shrimps and prawns are different from each other. The best way to recognize them is to check their anatomy and body shape. The habitat of these creatures or their size cannot be an accurate criterion to distinguish them from each other. According to what we have said, can you distinguish shrimp and prawn in the picture below?

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