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Giant Cannibal Shrimp - YIKES!

Updated on July 26, 2017
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Melissa lives in Downtown Albuquerque. She loves sharing her local discoveries with fellow travelers and explorers.

Move Over Squids - We've Got Company

A very LARGE species of Black Tiger Shrimp may be invading the Gulf Coast waters with the possibility of utlimately destroying local fishing industries.

The species has been reported by an AgriLife Extension Service agent for coastal and marine resources in South Texas. The agent, Tony Reisinger, says the species is aggressive and dangerous for other shrimp and marine life and could eventually alter commerce in the Gulf.

The shrimp eat other shrimp and oysters--not good news for the shrimping and oyster industry in Texas, Louisiana and other Gulf coast states.

These predators can grow as large as a foot in length.

I think they look more like lobsters than shrimp.

Squid in the Gulf?

I grew up along the Gulf Coast but don't recall any squid washing ashore or getting caught in our fishing nets.

Plenty of jellyfish but no squid.

However, the Houston Chronicle reported finding a 20 foot, 103 pound squid very, very far down in the Gulf in 2009. We (Squids, that is) must not like warm water--the Gulf is very warm compared to the Atlantic and Pacific, and so aren't seen often.

South Texas and The Gulf Coast

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South Padre Island, TX
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Getting Back to the Cannibals

The article I read says there have been 200 sightings of the black tiger species in the Gulf. That means they might have established breeding and could become a new item on the local menu. But that probably means the loss of other types of shrimp, small fish and oysters the GIANT SHRIMP eats.

My experience of large shrimp is that they are not as tasty as the smaller ones--have never eaten a tiger shrimp though. Don't know if they make for a good meal or not.

Some folks say black tiger shrimp are delicious and others say no way.

Here's a USA Today article about the invasion.

Photo/Drawing credit: Katrina Kenny/University of Adelaide
Photo/Drawing credit: Katrina Kenny/University of Adelaide

Our Planet's First Super Predator

According to an article at the History Channel website, the first SUPER PREDATOR on our planet was a "giant shrimp-like creature" described as prowling the planet's oceans.

This predator had no predators of its own and lived over 500 million years ago--Glad this scary shrimp is no longer with us!

It had very large and capable eyes, razor sharp teeth and claws! You can read more about this earliest predator at the History Channel website.

UPDATE February 2012

Seems that giant shrimp-like crustaceans are being found off the coast of New Zealand.

Watch the Youtube Video below to see what scientists have found about the supergiant amphipods.

PHOTOS of the PREDATORS - Update 2013

The reports continue to come in regarding the growth of the tiger shrimp population.

A PBS article reveals photos of the growth rates and finds that fishermen are encountering.

The NOLA website has some incredible photos that show the massive size of these shrimp. Because thy're cannibalistic they are likely eating the smaller shrimp that shrimp boats make their living from. This ultimately destroys the shrimp industry in the Gulf.

The National Ocean Service is reporting the gargantuan shrimp are also being found in the water off the south eastern coast of the United States.

2014 and They Continue to Grow

Sightings of the giant Asian Shrimp have increased along the southeast US coastline, according to the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science. This organization is looking for the triggers that have caused this issue and are considering the possibility that the crustaceans are breeding elsewhere and being carried toward us via currents, among other possibilities.

State fisheries and wildlife officials are now asking harvesters to report catches of the Asian tiger shrimp.

Ever encountered an animal predator?

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    • Countryluthier profile image

      E L Seaton 5 years ago from Virginia

      Heebie jeebies! Does it grill well?