Crustaceans are one of the most sought after food types in the world. There is a wide variety of crustaceans across the world with nearly all animal types eating them in some capacity. Although a shrimp and a lobster may not look alike it is the two pairs of antennae that show they are crustaceans. Lobsters, shrimp, crab, crayfish and more are just a small number of the 50,000 known species of crustacean in existence.
Humans are one of the largest predators of the crustacean. With crab, lobster, and shrimp the most popular items on the crustacean menu. From paella in Spain to sashimi in Japan to lobster bisque in France and boiled crawfish in New Orleans, around the world, people see crustaceans as a delicacy for the tender meat they offer.
We are not the only mammal that enjoys eating crustaceans. Raccoons, possums, monkeys, and rats are all well aware of the delicious treat that crustaceans offer. These animals are known to leave their natural habitat and wade through the water in search of a crustacean or two. Crustaceans that are already found on land have an even wider set of predators as they are an easy meal for most.
Birds too love to dive (excuse the pun) into a meal full of crustaceans. Birds particularly enjoy feeding on soft shell crustaceans but you can often find birds taking flight with a shell in their beaks and dropping it from a large height to crack it open.
The largest predator of crustaceans is already in the water. Fish and large marine mammals feed heavily on crustaceans. Sea lions and seals, as well as crocodiles and octopus, are all willing to work a little bit harder to get the meat that crustaceans have.
It is clear that crustaceans are a vital part of nearly every ecosystem today. Without them, many ecosystems would suffer and fall apart.