Q:

What do prawns eat?

A:

Prawns are omnivorous, and in the wild they eat a variety of food, including plankton, carrion and other microorganisms. Their diet also consists of detritus, or fragments of decaying organic matter, small shellfish and worms.

Prawns are crustaceans and have a diet similar to that of other crustaceans. Newly born prawns eat modestly and often feed on plankton that live near the surface of the water. They also eat small marine plants and can eat seaweed, as long as it's small enough for them to eat. Prawns grow quickly after their first year, and this is when they can swim to search for a variety of food. As natural scavengers, they aren't picky eaters and consume almost anything that's small enough to eat, including mud, sand, dead fish and crabs. Prawns are among the rare type of animals that prey on their own kind to survive, especially if there's a scarcity of food in their natural habitat.

King prawns are sensitive to light and only hunt at night. Tiger prawns are active day and night. Both prawns are highly popular as a seafood delicacy and are often farmed in ponds near the sea. Cold-water prawns are deepwater crustaceans and don't eat mud and sand, which is why they have clearer veins than the warm-water king and tiger prawns.

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