Giant cannibal shrimp don't scrimp on scariness
December 16th, 2011
03:45 PM ET
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Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the Gulf of Mexico, a new menace, this one striped like a big cat, is preying on aquatic life: The black tiger shrimp.

The biggest saltwater shrimp in the world, black tigers “are cannibalistic as are other shrimp but it’s larger so it can consume the others,” Tony Reisinger, country extension agent for the Texas Sea Grant Extension Service, told CNN on Friday.

Because of the threat of disease, the predatory intruder poses a problem for the native shrimp and oyster population of the Gulf, Reisinger said.

Read Giant cannibal shrimp worry Gulf Coast watchers

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Filed under: Environment • Ocean • Sustainability

soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Todd in DC

    We have met the enemy and he is edible.

    December 28, 2011 at 9:44 am |
  2. Josh

    Yes finally!! Global warming producing new invasive tasty mega-fauna... It was just a matter of time.

    December 27, 2011 at 1:47 am |
  3. MIke

    I'd like to have a few of these as pets

    December 26, 2011 at 7:53 am |
  4. John C.

    I don't get it, the article says: "because of the threat of disease ...", Perhaps the writer meant: "because of the threat of being eaten," the predatory intruder poses a problem for the native shrimp and oyster population.

    December 25, 2011 at 2:41 am |
  5. Kevin

    Evidently black tiger shrimp (which are a genus comprised of several species) are prized in their indigenous areas, along the east coast of Africa, Australia and New Zealand. They're also apparently the most cultivated shrimp in the world; a $3 billion dollar industry. Any invasive species, no matter how marketable, may be a genuine ecological threat, but not necessarily an industrial one. The gulf shrimping industry, if it had to, could surely start farming these guys instead of the smaller gulf shrimps that they're used to. I'm not suggesting inaction. I'm only suggesting that, with respect to the gulf coast shrimping industry, the threat may only be psychological.

    December 24, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
  6. Blessed Geek

    What is the difference between a shrimp and a prawn?

    A shrimp is a small-sized prawn.

    This is not very small-sized, is it? So, whomever you are, who wrote this article, I know saying "shrimp" is more sxy than saying "prawn", but this is no small prawn.

    December 22, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
    • Caspien

      Uh, Prawns and Shrimp are two entirely seperate groups of species. Very similar, but seperate.

      Prawns: Suborder Dendrobranchiata
      Shrimp: Suborder Pleocyemata

      They called them shrimp because that's what they are.

      December 23, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
      • Blessed Geek

        Dear neighbour of whatever colour,

        I am sorry. I was brought up through cycles of education that imply the eminence of British English. It's prawns for every thing that looks like a prawn or a shrimp. Whereas, in this country, every thing that looks like a prawn is called a shrimp.

        For example, every one all over the world understands that a toilet is a polite euphemism for the room where do our personal business and a bathroom is where there are actual implements that would allow you to take a bath or a shower. And a football is round and not shaped like a rugby ball and meant to be kicked with the "foot" and not carried about with the "hand".

        BTW, the creature in the picture looks suspiciously like a prawn rather than a shrimp. Have you checked it out yet.

        December 26, 2011 at 12:28 am |
      • Phil

        No, they are not shrimp. They are in fact prawns, of the sub-order Dendrobranchiata. Please reference this article for more information:

        Shrimp are of the sub-order Pleocyemata.

        December 26, 2011 at 5:16 am |
      • Phil

        While in biological terms shrimps and prawns belong to different suborders of Decapoda, they are very similar in appearance. In commercial farming and fisheries, the terms "shrimp" and "prawn" are often used interchangeably. However, recent aquaculture literature increasingly uses the term "prawn" only for the freshwater forms of palaemonids and "shrimp" for the marine penaeids.[3]

        In the United Kingdom, the word "prawn" is more common on menus than "shrimp"; while the opposite is the case in North America. The term "prawn" is also loosely used to describe any large shrimp, especially those that come 15 (or fewer) to the pound (such as "king prawns", yet sometimes known as "jumbo shrimp"). Australia and some other Commonwealth nations follow this British usage to an even greater extent, using the word "prawn" almost exclusively.

        And from my personal experience, most decapods in the Australian/Asian region are in fact prawns by species whereas in the warmer waters in the Gulf of Mexico they are in fact shrimp. This MAY be why in the US we almost always say shrimp and elsewhere they always say prawn.

        But yes, if you follow the wiki link provided, that is in fact a prawn. For an article on food I guess that is what you would expect, but it would be nice if they did call it a prawn since it is not a shrimp.

        December 28, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  7. us1776

    What chef has a recipe for these things?


    December 21, 2011 at 9:28 pm |
    • GeneK

      If you've ever had the giant deep-fried shrimp/prawn off a Chinese or Thai restaurant menu, chance are that you've eaten one of these.

      Wrap them in strips of bacon, dip in batter and put 'em in the fryer.

      December 23, 2011 at 10:33 am |
      • DaMeglet

        Mmmmmm! =-9

        December 25, 2011 at 9:59 am |
  8. slamwich

    Looks delicious!

    December 21, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
  9. neepsandtats

    Om nom nom. =<:}}}}<3

    December 17, 2011 at 11:53 am |
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