Before Skipper Wilson started preparing for the storm he’s sailing into, he wrote an essay about the sea animals he’s encountered. You’ve read about some of them before (albatross and flying fish, for instance), but the latest critters that have come his way are tiny: shrimp.
If the only time you’ve ever seen shrimp is on a plate at a restaurant, you might wonder what kind of animal it is. Shrimp, which are shellfish, have an exoskeleton. That means that their skeleton is outside their body instead of inside like yours. They have ten legs they use for walking, as well as ten shorter swimming appendages and six eating appendages, and can be found both in saltwater and in freshwater.
Shrimp eat tiny plants and animals found in the water. They also serve as food for larger fish, birds, seals, whales, and people.
There are 1,900 different species of shrimp. The shrimp in the picture lives in saltwater, is often found in home aquariums, and is about three inches long. It’s the same type of animal as what Skipper Wilson has been seeing, but is much bigger. (It’s kind of like the difference between a husky dog and a chihuahua. They’re both dogs, but don’t really look like each other.) The kind of shrimp Skipper Wilson has been finding are tiny. They’re about one centimeter long — the length of your pinky finger nail.
(By the way, have you ever heard of sea monkeys? They aren’t really monkeys at all, but are actually a type of brine shrimp.)
What kind of wildlife can you find in your neighborhood? Ioannis Miaoulis, president and director of Boston’s Museum of Science has some ideas about the things you might learn from them.
Brine Shrimp 2: Brine Shrimp Survival (6-8)
Food Webs in the Bay (6-8)
Marine Sanctuaries (6-8)
Punching Shrimp (6-12)
Marine Reserves (6-12)
Antibacterial Pollution (6-12)
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