Today’s animal is a clawed crustacean: the lobster! The lobster is important to a variety of ecosystems, and many coastal communities rely on it for food and as an export. Let’s find out more about our spiny sea-scurrying friends!
What makes it a lobster?
- All lobsters are decapods meaning they have 10 legs.
- Their blood is blue because it lacks the iron-rich hemoglobin of mammal blood.
- They have exoskeletons like bugs and molt or shed the outer layer.
- Lobsters are bottom dwellers, meaning they can be found on the seafloor or at the bottom of brackish freshwater.
- They usually prefer colder waters but can live at great depths or on shallow coastlines.
- Not all lobsters are red. They can be blue, brown, or even white. Some even have spots like a calico cat!
- Some don’t have claws. Spiny lobsters make up for it with a large antenna that scares predators away with a loud screech.
- Lobsters are not scavengers. They hunt fish, snails, crabs, and sometimes other lobsters.
- Though it is now an expensive dish, lobster was once considered the poor man’s chicken and made into food for livestock.
- In 1995, the oldest lobster fossil was discovered by scientists in Mexico. It’s around 120 million years old from the Cretaceous period!
- Clawed lobsters can crush at pressures up to 100 lbs. per square inch.
- Scientists hypothesize that lobsters grow as long as they live. The oldest caught lobster was captured at 140 years old, weighing 20 pounds. This geriatric crustacean named George was returned to the ocean by a New York restaurant.