Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Shrimp and Lobster

lobster-pdShrimp vs Lobster

Differentiating a shrimp from a lobster is actually very easy. By simply looking at them side by side, even an elementary kid can spot that one is a shrimp and not a lobster and vice versa. Their disparities are a lot easier to distinguish than comparing a lobster with other creepy crawlers, let’s say the crayfishes.

Although both shrimps and lobsters are close relatives (both are classified as crustaceans) and share many similarities like having compound eyes and fused head to their bodies, a shrimp is a sea animal located in either freshwater or salt bodies of water. This is probably the single most important difference between the two because lobsters live in salt waters only. It is also important to note that there are almost 2,000 different species of shrimps worldwide yet about 20 of them are essential commercially.

With regard to physical attributes, shrimps are generally smaller when pitted against the lobster family. Even regular lobsters are somewhat bigger than most jumbo shrimps. As observed, shrimps can grow as much as 8 inches at an average although this can vary depending on the specific shrimp species being examined. If shrimps grow any larger than this (but usually not more than 12 inches), they are often regarded with another name ‘“ prawns.

The shrimps elongated body structure looks narrower than that of ordinary lobsters. Its exoskeleton (shell) is translucent in nature. They often shed this off as part of their normal growth cycle. Most shrimps have colors that vary from gray to white and even green. But some of them can readily change their outer color as a form of adaptation to their immediate surroundings.

Even if shrimps do seem to have minute leg-like structures called appendages (specifically termed swimmerets) beneath their bodies (abdomen ‘“ the part usually eaten), they actually don’t use these pair of mini legs to crawl; rather they use such fine structures for swimming. Their tails (telson) are often the primary player for locomotion on top of their normal gliding abilities with the water current. On the contrary, lobsters use their sets of appendages to crawl.

In addition, lobsters and shrimps also procreate differently. The former usually carry their eggs with them while the latter release the same to the open sea.

1. Shrimps live both in fresh and salt waters while lobsters live in salty waters only.

2. Shrimps swim while lobsters crawl.

3. Shrimps are generally smaller than lobsters.

4. Female lobsters carry their eggs with them while shrimps disperse their eggs to the sea.

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  1. lol jk its just shrimp

  2. Many shrimp species carry their eggs under their tails as well making that bit inaccurate. Neocardinia Shrimp are an example of this. They are freshwater / brackish water species commonly kept in aquariums.

  3. Look at rock lobster and mantis shrimp and the differences become much less apparent. Not all lobsters have claws. Some shrimp do. Some shrimp also have wide bodies rather than narrow.


  5. Lobsters use their tails to swim by pulling the tails in and pushing out as do shrimps sort of. So both swim.

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