Cleaner Shrimps Rule!

How do Cleaner Shrimps protect themselves from predators, the environment and other organisms?

The Cleaner Shrimp has a hard protective shell on its body called an exoskeleton. Teenaged Cleaner Shrimps live alone and have certain territories so other shrimps don’t muster in on their fish cleaning service! When threatened by a fellow shrimp, crab or other animal the Cleaner Shrimp will often fight for its territory. Cleaner Shrimps are respected by many of the fish that they clean, meaning that the fish won’t eat them. The only predators of the Cleaner Shrimp include: Lionfish, Triggerfish and smaller cat fish. To protect itself when it sheds its shell the Cleaner Shrimp hides in a crevasse or under a rock until its shell grows back. Certain species of Cleaner Shrimp live amongst sea anemones. Sea anemones provide the shrimps with protection from larger fish and creatures. The shrimp uses the liquid secreted by anemones to protect themselves from their stingers.

What behaviours and/or physical features help the Cleaner Shrimp survive in its environment?

·         Long antennae help it to attract fish to clean by waving them around.

·         Its special fan finned tail helps it propel through the water.

·         Cleaner Shrimp don’t get eaten by many fish because they help clean them.

·         Their claws help them fight-off any shrimps or crabs that try to muster in on their territory.

·         The Cleaner Shrimp’s hard exoskeleton protects its mushy inner-organs and tissue. It also prevents it from being killed by other shrimps and crabs.

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