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Members of the Natantia (shrimp in the broader sense) were adapted for swimming while the Reptantia (crabs, lobsters, etc.) were adapted for crawling or walking. They look somewhat like small lobsters, but not like crabs.

The abdomens of crabs are small and short, whereas the abdomens of lobsters and shrimp are large and long.

Historically, it was the distinction between walking and swimming that formed the primary taxonomic division into the former suborders Natantia and Reptantia.

The rostrum, from the Latin rōstrum meaning beak, looks like a beak or pointed nose at the front of the shrimp's head.

It is a rigid forward extension of the carapace and can be used for attack or defense.

They play important roles in the food chain and are an important food source for larger animals ranging from fish to whales.

The muscular tails of many shrimp are edible to humans, and they are widely caught and farmed for human consumption.

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