A widespread and abundant crustacean, “shrimp” often is broadly used to cover any of the decapod crustacean with elongated bodies and a primary way of locomotion. There are literally thousands of species of shrimp. Synonymous with “prawn”, they have stalk-eyes, long antennae, slim legs, and long narrow muscular tails that are better adapted for swimming than walking. They live solitary lives and live from 1-7 years on average, though sometimes they can form large schools during spawning season. Omnivorous, they are most often found on or near the bottom (e.g., feeding on worms, small crustaceans, planktonic organisms, sponges, plant life). They are frequently found at depths of 30-300 feet.
Shrimp play an important role in the ecological cycle (a.k.a. food chain). They provide a large source of food for a plethora of species from fish to whales. Humans also consume a significant amount of shrimp, supporting a commercial industry worth over $50 billion each year.
While we know quite a bit about shrimp biology, we know relatively little about their behavior. To track the secret lives of shrimp, researchers were interested in monitoring the 3D movement of Puget Sound dock shrimp (Pandalus danae). Over the course of a few years, marine students at the University of Washington Friday Harbor Laboratory (FHL) on San Juan Island used HTI acoustic tags to track their behavior.
Shared below are two examples from different years where students tracked shrimp in high-resolution using HTI acoustic tags.