How Long Can Shrimp Live Out of Water?

Shrimp is a popular seafood delicacy known for their delicate flavour and tender texture. They are also one of the most popular crustaceans in the world, with millions of pounds consumed every year. While millions of people enjoy these tiny creatures, a question is often asked: how long can they live out of water?

Shrimp can live out of water for a short time. Shrimps can probably survive around 15 minutes to an hour or two at max without water. On the contrary, there are even shrimps that can survive even a day without water. So, the period can vary depending on the type of shrimp. But overall, they need to be kept in cool and moist environments for survival. It’s important to note that the longer shrimp are out of the water, the less likely they are to survive.

In this article, we will take a closer look at the time period of shrimps living without water. Also, we’ll discover why shrimp cannot survive without water. So, if you’re eager to know these facts, you’re at the right place. Sit tight and read to the last to discover some amazing and unknown facts!

How Long Can Shrimp Live Out of Water?

Shrimp are crustaceans that belong to the order Decapoda, which includes other species such as crabs and lobsters. These creatures have a hard exoskeleton that protects and supports their soft and delicate bodies.

The survival period of shrimps without water depends on the environment and temperature you’re keeping them in. On average, shrimps can last between 15 minutes to a couple of hours without water.

A Research found that when shrimps were kept out of water for more than 24 hours, the survival rate was moderate to poor up to 72 hours!

For example, Amano shrimp, also known as Caridina multidentate, are freshwater crustaceans. They are commonly kept in aquariums. They are known for their ability to adapt to different environments and live outside of water for short periods. The length of time that Amano shrimp can survive outside of water can vary greatly depending on the room temperature and humidity levels.

Under ideal conditions, an Amano shrimp can live from 15 minutes to several hours outside of water. These conditions typically include a room with a high level of humidity. This allows the shrimp to retain moisture and prevent dehydration.

On the other hand, if the room has low humidity, the shrimp may only be able to survive for a maximum of 15 minutes before they begin to dry out and eventually die.


In addition to humidity, temperature also plays a crucial role in determining the lifespan of Amano Shrimp outside of water. If the temperature in the room is too hot, the shrimp’s body may not be able to cope with the high temperatures, leading to an early death. This highlights the importance of providing proper care for these delicate creatures and monitoring the environment in which they live.

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The bottom line is that Amano shrimp can live outside water for short periods. Their survival length depends on various environmental factors such as temperature and humidity. It’s essential to ensure that their habitat is conducive to their survival and that they are not exposed to conditions that may harm or kill them.

Can Shrimp Breathe Out of Water?

Shrimp live in a variety of aquatic environments, including saltwater, freshwater, and brackish water. However, all shrimp require water to breathe and survive regardless of their environment.

Some species of shrimp can live outside of water for short periods of time. Shrimps are primarily aquatic creatures and require water to breathe. They have the ability to extract oxygen from the air through cutaneous respiration and tolerate short periods of exposure to air. Due to this, they can survive in certain conditions.

Shrimp need water to breathe, as they rely on their gills to extract oxygen. One question that often arises regarding shrimp is whether they can breathe out of water.

The answer is both yes and no!

The gills of shrimps are specialized organs that extract oxygen from the water and allow the shrimp to survive underwater.

However, some species of shrimp can live outside of water for short periods of time. This is because they can extract oxygen from the air through a process known as cutaneous respiration.

Like other organisms, shrimp do need oxygen to survive. Shrimp extract oxygen from the water they live in through their gills. Without oxygen, shrimp will quickly suffocate and die.

When they are out of the water, they cannot extract oxygen and will quickly suffocate. To extend the survival time of shrimp out of the water, it is important to keep them cool and moist.

Cutaneous respiration refers to the process of obtaining oxygen through the skin. Shrimp have a special layer on their exoskeleton called the cuticle, which allows them to absorb oxygen from the air.

This ability is particularly important for freshwater shrimp, as they may be exposed to low oxygen levels in their environment.

However, it’s important to note that cutaneous respiration is slow and not as efficient as gill-based respiration. This means that the amount of oxygen that shrimp can extract from the air is limited. So they can only survive outside of water for a short period of time.

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Can Shrimp Survive on Land?

Yes, shrimp can live on land without water but only for a few minutes to hours!

Shrimp cannot live on land permanently. Shrimp are adapted to live in water and require a moist environment to breathe and survive. If they are left on land for an extended period of time, they will quickly dehydrate and die.

When shrimp are removed from the water, their gills quickly dry out and can no longer extract oxygen. This means that shrimp cannot breathe and quickly

suffocate without water. Additionally, the lack of water will result in moisture loss, and shrimps will eventually die.

Another factor that prohibits shrimp from living without water is their anatomy. Shrimp are not designed to live on land. The bodies of shrimp are not equipped to handle the conditions they would encounter on land.

For example, their exoskeleton is not designed to protect them from the harsh conditions they would encounter on lands, such as heat and lack of moisture.


Additionally, shrimp do not have lungs or other structures that allow them to breathe air. As a result, they are not able to extract oxygen from the air they would encounter on land.

Shrimp use gills to extract oxygen from the water they live in. Shrimp gills are specialized structures that allow the creature to extract oxygen from the water it swims in and exhale carbon dioxide.

When shrimp are in the water, their gills are constantly exposed to oxygen-rich water. This allows them to extract the oxygen they need to survive. But that doesn’t work on land!

Although this breathing process might sound helpful, it’s a temporary solution. This process only helps them survive for a shorter time. They need to return to water eventually. Providing the proper environment and conditions for their survival and well-being is essential.

Factors That Affect the Survival Time of Shrimp Without Water

The length of time shrimps can survive outside of the water is affected by several environmental factors. These include:


Shrimps are ectothermic animals. This means their body temperature is regulated by the surrounding environment. If the temperature is too high or too low, it can lead to stress and, eventually, death.


High humidity levels in the air can help shrimps absorb oxygen through their skin and prolong their survival time outside of water. On the other hand, low humidity levels can lead to dehydration and death.

Oxygen levels

Shrimps extract oxygen from the air through cutaneous respiration. The amount of oxygen available has a major impact on their survival time. If the oxygen levels are low, shrimps will struggle to extract enough oxygen and may die sooner.

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Water loss

Shrimps are susceptible to water loss through evaporation and need to maintain a certain level of hydration to survive. If they lose too much water, they can become dehydrated and die.

Exposure to pollutants

Exposure to pollutants in the air, such as chemicals and toxins, can harm shrimps and reduce their survival time.

Other Stressors

Shrimps can also be affected by other stressors, such as changes in light intensity and physical damage to their skin or exoskeleton.

It’s important to remember that shrimps are adapted to live in water, and their survival outside of it is limited. Proper environmental conditions must be maintained to support their well-being and prolong their survival time.


Can cherry shrimp live on land?

Ans: Cherry Shrimp can survive on land but only for a few minutes up to an hour. Like other shrimps, cherry shrimps will also feel problems breathing and surviving if they’re kept without water. They’ll be unable to breathe properly, and their body will not function normally due to a lack of water and oxygen.

What is the best way to keep shrimp alive?

Ans: If you ever see any shrimp on land or catch one from the water, you should immediately keep it in a bucket of water. Shrimp can hardly survive 15 minutes to a couple of hours without water. So, to keep it alive, you must keep it in a cool and moist environment.


In conclusion, shrimp are not designed to live without water and cannot survive for more than a few hours outside. They use their gills to extract oxygen from water; without water, their gills will quickly dry out and suffocate. Additionally, shrimp will quickly dehydrate and die without water, making it clear why these creatures are not equipped to survive on land.

If you are handling shrimp, it is important to keep them cool and moist to extend their survival time outside of water. Still, it is always best to keep them in water, as they need water to breathe and survive.

So that’s all about knowing how long they can live out of water. Hope you got your queries solved, and now you can enlighten others too.

For any more questions or queries, feel free to leave them in the comment box below. We’ll get back to you as early as possible. Thank you!

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