Difference Wiki

Shrimp vs. Lobster: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on December 9, 2023
Shrimp are small, slender, marine crustaceans with a flexible exoskeleton, while lobsters are larger, have a hard shell, claws, and are considered a delicacy.

Key Differences

Shrimp are small crustaceans with a distinct segmented body and a flexible exoskeleton, making them agile in water. Lobsters, on the other hand, are larger crustaceans with a hard exoskeleton and large claws, often associated with a more premium dining experience.
In terms of habitat, shrimp can be found in various marine environments, from shallow waters to deep seas. While, lobsters typically reside on the ocean floor, in rocky, sandy, or muddy environments, often hiding in crevices or burrows.
Shrimp have a variety of species, each with unique colors and sizes, and are widely used in different cuisines worldwide. Whereas, lobsters are often recognized for their distinct blue-green to brown color, turning bright red when cooked, and are considered a gourmet food in many cultures.
Regarding diet, shrimp feed on plankton and small particles of organic matter, using their small appendages for feeding. Lobsters are omnivores, consuming fish, mollusks, other crustaceans, and sometimes plant matter, using their claws for catching and eating their prey.
Shrimp are known for their rapid growth and short lifespan, making them a sustainable choice for seafood. Lobsters, conversely, have a longer lifespan, grow slowly, and their fishing is often regulated to ensure sustainability.

Comparison Chart


Small, usually a few inches long
Larger, can grow over a foot in length


Hard and protective


Varied marine environments
Ocean floors, rocky or muddy areas

Culinary Use

Common in various cuisines
Considered a delicacy

Lifespan and Growth

Rapid growth, short lifespan
Slow growth, long lifespan

Shrimp and Lobster Definitions


A crustacean with a flexible exoskeleton.
Shrimp can quickly dart through the water.


A gourmet food in many cultures.
For their anniversary, they had lobster for dinner.


Known for rapid growth and reproduction.
The shrimp population in the bay has increased rapidly.


Recognized by its claws and distinct color.
The lobster turned red after being cooked.


Often used in various cuisines worldwide.
Shrimp tacos are her favorite dish.


Has a longer lifespan and grows slowly.
The aquarium's lobster is over ten years old.


A small, marine crustacean.
He added shrimp to the paella for extra flavor.


Lives on the ocean floor, often in crevices.
The fisherman caught a lobster near the rocky shoreline.


A decapod crustacean with a slender body.
The shrimp scurried away when disturbed.


A large marine crustacean with a hard shell.
Lobster is often served with melted butter.


Any of various small, chiefly marine, often edible decapod crustaceans that have a laterally compressed, elongated body with long antennae and long legs used for swimming. The shrimps include species belonging to the superfamily Penaeoidea of the suborder Dendrobranchiata and to the infraorder Caridea of the suborder Pleocyemata.


Any of several edible marine decapod crustaceans of the family Nephropidae, especially of the genus Homarus, having stalked eyes, long antennae, a pair of large pincers, and a cylindrical body.


Any of several similar crustaceans, such as a spiny lobster.


What is a shrimp?

Shrimp are small, decapod crustaceans found in marine and freshwater environments.

How are shrimp cooked?

Shrimp can be boiled, grilled, sautéed, or fried.

What is the nutritional value of shrimp?

Shrimp are low in calories, high in protein, and a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.

Are shrimp and prawns the same?

They are different species with similar appearances, but biologically distinct.

Can shrimp be eaten raw?

Yes, in dishes like sushi, but they must be fresh and properly prepared.

Are shrimp high in cholesterol?

Yes, but they also contain healthy fats and nutrients.

Is shrimp farming sustainable?

It varies; some methods are sustainable, while others can be environmentally harmful.

How is lobster typically cooked?

Often boiled or steamed, and sometimes grilled.

Can you eat shrimp shells?

Yes, they are edible but often removed for texture.

How long do shrimp take to cook?

Typically 2-5 minutes; they turn pink and opaque when done.

Is lobster expensive?

Yes, due to its high demand and the labor-intensive process of catching and preparing it.

How to tell if shrimp are fresh?

Fresh shrimp should have a mild sea smell and firm, translucent flesh.

What is a lobster roll?

A sandwich containing cooked lobster meat, often with mayonnaise, served on a roll.

Are lobsters a sustainable seafood choice?

This depends on the fishery; some lobster fisheries are well-managed and sustainable.

What is a lobster?

Lobster is a large marine crustacean known for its meaty claws and tail.

How do lobsters differ from shrimp?

Lobsters are larger, have a distinct clawed anatomy, and live in different habitats.

How do lobsters reproduce?

Female lobsters lay eggs which are fertilized externally by the male.

What does lobster taste like?

Lobster has a sweet, rich, and slightly oceanic flavor.

Can you eat a whole lobster?

The tail, claws, and some internal parts are edible, but the shell is not.

How do you store live lobster?

Keep them in a moist, cold environment, ideally in a refrigerator.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons