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EnchantedLearning.com Shrimp Animal Printouts
Label Me! Printouts

Shrimp are small animals that live on the floor of oceans and lakes. There are over 2,000 different species of shrimp worldwide. Shrimp are invertebrates (animals lacking a backbone) that have a tough exoskeleton.

Anatomy: Shrimp range from a small fraction of an inch to 9 inches (a few mm to 23 cm) long. These crustaceans have a thin, smooth, hard, and almost transparent exoskeleton. Shrimp vary widely in color; tropical varieties are often brightly colored. Shrimp have 5 pairs of jointed walking legs on the thorax, and they have 5 pairs of swimming legs (swimmerets) and 3 pairs of maxillae (feeding appendages) on the abdomen. The body, legs, swimmerets, and other appendages are segmented. Shrimp have two pairs of segmented sensory antennae, a tail fan, and compound eyes.

Diet: Shrimp are omnivores; they eat plants and small animals. The unusual pistol shrimp kills or stuns its prey by making a very loud sound with a huge claw with a moveable, snapping appendage.

Life Cycle: Female shrimp lay over a thousand eggs, which are attached to her swimming legs. The shrimp emerge as tiny, floating organisms, a component of zooplankton. After growing, they sink to the bottom, where they will live. As a shrimp grows, it often molts (losing its old shell and growing a new one).

Predators: Shrimp are eaten by many animals, including many fish, many birds (including flamingos and loons), octopi, squid, cuttlefish, and people.

Classification: Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Arthropoda, Class Crustacea (crustaceans), Subclass Malacostraca, Order Decapoda, Suborder Natantia.



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