A Lobster served as a delicacy on your plate, simply delicious! Lobsters served in popular culture through impressive sculptures, characters in Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’, actors in Woody Allen’s 1977 comedy classic ‘Annie Hall’, ‘Love Actually’, singers in ‘Finding Nemo’, quite adorable!
Delicious and adorable they may be, these tasty creatures have many secrets. These interesting facts about lobsters will take you to the bottom of the ocean for a glimpse into their lives!
During the 18th century, lobsters were considered to be food for poor people (such as servants and prisoners).
The first shift to luxury food items took place in the late 1800s, as wealthy city-dwellers flocked to the beach and enjoyed the novel taste of lobster.
Lobster is an invertebrate that belongs to the crustacean family.
49 lobster species can be found in oceans all over the world.
Lobsters inhabit fresh and brackish water.
Depending on the species, lobsters vary in size from 0.8 to 3.25 feet in length. Most species are somewhere in between.
Lobsters can be divided into two groups: clawed and spiny.
Clawed lobsters have two unequal claws and they inhabit cold waters. Their claws are used for catching and slicing of prey.
Spiny lobsters aren’t closely related to true lobsters and are distinguished from American and European American lobsters by their long antennae and hard shell and are clawless.
Spiny lobsters in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, are sometimes called crayfish, sea crayfish, or crawfish.
If a lobster loses a claw, antenna, or leg, it can grow it back. However, it typically takes about five years for a lobster to regenerate a claw that is the same size as the one it lost.
One look at a lobster will tell you that long-distance swimming isn’t in their repertoire.
As the immature lobsters develop, they eventually settle to the ocean floor, where their preferred domiciles are rocky caves and crevices.
Lobsters are ten-legged creatures, just like shrimps and crabs, their closest relatives.
They might look simple, but they have a brain and nervous system, heart, stomach, and intestines just like people.
The body of the lobster is protected by an outer skeleton called “exoskeleton”, also known as a shell.
Shells cannot expand in size as the lobster grows and it sheds periodically. Lobsters without shells are very vulnerable and they usually hide until their new shell is formed. This process is called molting.
Every time they molt, splitting their shells along the seam in the carapace, lobsters increase 20% in size. Young lobsters molt several times a year, but after they hit one pound, they start molting annually.
Freshly molted lobsters are called shedders.
Lobsters have long tails composed of seven pieces with a fan-like tip.
Deep-sea lobsters are blind. Other species have compound eyes. They cannot see a clear image but can detect movement even at night.
Lobsters have an excellent sense of smell and touch. They use both senses to detect prey.
Lobsters walk forward, but if they need to quickly getaway, they propel themselves backward by pumping their tails. Females have broader tails than males so they can hold eggs there.
Lobsters mainly eat meat, such as fish, mollusks, worms, and crustaceans. They also consume algae and other types of sea vegetation.
Lobsters do not have teeth, but instead, have a structure called a gastric mill that is located in their digestive tract.
Lobsters taste with their legs via chemosensory hairs that identify food.
Typically, lobsters are a mottled brown, but genetic mutations can create red, blue, calico, and even albino lobsters. Heat denatures the proteins in the lobsters’ shells, releasing astaxanthin, which turns their shells bright red when they’re cooked.
Lobsters don’t scream when you cook them – they don’t have lungs or vocal cords.
Every year, millions of lobsters meet their fate in a cooking pot.
Lobster meat is a great source of protein, providing 28 grams of protein per cup. Three and a half ounces have just 96 calories and about two grams of fat.
Lobster blood is clear. When cooked it turns into a whitish gel.
Lobsters can be grown on farms.
Lobsters are sensitive to changes in temperature, detecting temperature shifts as small as one degree which is partly why they migrate up to 160km every year to find the perfect breeding ground for their fragile young.
During the mating period, females become vulnerable because they throw away their shells. After a week of mating, a new shell will develop and the female will have a large number of eggs deposited inside her body.
A low percentage of released eggs reach maturity. Out of 10 000 eggs, only 10 will survive until adulthood.
Lobster reaches the size of the adult animal after 7 years of constant growth.
When a fisherman traps a female lobster carrying eggs, he puts a V-notch in her tail. This tells other fishermen that she’s a breeding female and should be thrown back.
Lobsters in the wild can survive up to 100 years. Many lobsters live much shorter because they end up in the fishing nets much earlier.
Scientists only recently discovered an accurate way to determine a lobster’s age, dissecting it and counting the rings in the eyestalk and gastric mill.