Difference Between Krill and Shrimp

Krill and shrimp are two different species of organisms though they belong to crustaceans but have unique orders.


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Both of the organisms vary in body size as krill is smaller in size as compared to shrimp which is comparatively larger and has an elongated body.

Key Takeaways

  1. Krill are small, shrimp-like crustaceans in cold ocean waters, while shrimp inhabit various marine and freshwater environments.
  2. Krill serve as a crucial food source for many marine animals, while shrimp play a more varied role in aquatic food chains.
  3. Krill oil supplements contain omega-3 fatty acids and astaxanthin, while shrimp offer a variety of nutrients such as protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Krill vs Shrimp

Krill are crustaceans under the order of Euphausiacea and are zooplankton that floats but is unable to swim. There are 85 species of Krill. Shrimp are crustaceans in the Decapoda order that has elongated and two-segmented bodies, and they have different body color depending on the species.

Krill vs Shrimp

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Krill is considered as an important trophic level connection between the food chains. They feed on various planktons and zooplanktons.

Shrimp are abundant in nature. They play a key role in the food chain. The muscular part of the shrimp is used for human consumption.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonKrillShrimp
SizeSmallerComparatively Larger
Body StructureThree segment body- Cephalon, thorax, and abdomenTwo segment body- cephalothorax and abdomen
CharacteristicMostly TransparentColorful
ReproductionLay thousands of eggs per yearLay millions of eggs per session

What is Krill?

Krill are small crustaceans of the order Euphausiacea, and it has been reported that 85 different species of krill are found in the world’s ocean.

The krill is zooplankton that can float at the upper surface of the water and is at the mercy of ocean currents. They are not able to swim in the water because they change their position.

Krill has been a major source of proteins and omega-3 fatty acids and was used as a human food source in the early 21st century as dietary supplements, livestock food, capsules, etc.


What is Shrimp?

Shrimp have decoded crustaceans with elongated and two-segmented bodies, i.e., cephalothorax and abdomen. Its body color also varies from species to species and can be influenced by age, harvest season, diets, and the farm sites.

The length varies from a few millimeters to more than 20 cm. The size of shrimp is approximately between 4 to 8 cm. It has thin, fragile legs, which they use primarily for perching.

The muscular tail of shrimp is used for human consumption. The shrimp are low in fat and are a rich source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids.


Main Differences Between Krill and Shrimp 

  1. Krill are herbivores. On the other hand, shrimp are omnivores.
  2. Krill are generally smaller in size, whereas shrimp are comparatively larger.
Difference Between Krill and Shrimp
  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2095.2010.00791.x
  2. https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=yo8fRGvracAC&oi=fnd&pg=PA262&dq=krill+vs+shrimp&ots=9KmjHKdKxo&sig=kdS_iRejiERKly65AjqAqV9UBXY
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