Delicious-Looking Shrimp.
What Eats Shrimp—And Who Eats Shrimp? Photo:Rafael Ortega Diaz

What eats shrimp?

What does a shrimp eat?

A better question might be, what doesn’t eat shrimp? There are many different species, or kinds, of shrimp, from relatively sizable marine shrimp to tiny fairy shrimp that live in freshwater vernal pools, which dry up in summer. Most shrimps are small and most shrimps are tasty, so shrimps have a lot of predators, or natural enemies, which is what we call creatures that feed on another creature.

The shrimp’s predators include many kinds of fish any many kinds of birds. In fact, flamingos have a bill that is specially shaped just for scooping up shrimp—and they eat so many shrimp that a chemical in the shrimps’ bodies makes the flamingos’ feathers turn pink!

Fairy shrimp, for their part, are eaten by a variety of larger creatures, including insects and insect larvae.

Other natural enemies of saltwater shrimp are octopi, squid and cuttlefish.

Of course, people like to eat shrimp too. I like to dip mine in cocktail sauce!

As for what a shrimp eats: They eat plant material and a variety of tiny sea creatures.