Lobster<<<< Back to marine animals
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Class: Malacostraca
- Order: Decapoda
- InfraOrder: Astacidea
- Clade: Pinnipedia
- Family: Nephropidae
- Conservation status: Least concern
- Areal: Oceans
- Habitat: rocky areas where they can hide from predators
- Food: Eels and Large fish
- Predators: fish, molluscs, worms and some plants
- Length: 25-70cm (9.8-27.5in)
- Weight: 1-7kg (2.2-15lbs)
- Lifespan: 25 - 80 years
- Reproduction: ~ 12
Lobsters belong to the Homaridae family, a family of marine crustaceans. Economically speaking lobsters underpin a global industry. They are fished for consumption and the cost for this whole business exceeds one billion dollars annually. They are loved for their flavor.
They can be found in all oceans, living on sand, mud or water’s rocky bottoms. In general, they live alone in burrows or under stones. The European lobster can be seen in the UK and Ireland and is smaller, more expensive and more rare than the one in America.
Lobsters are omnivores and eat live food. They feed on fish, molluscs and other shellfish, worms and some plants. They eat also corpses and resort to cannibalism in captivity if needed, this was not seen in the wild. After moulting they eat their ”skin”.
Lobsters are marine invertebrate animals that have a protective shell bone. Like most lobsters, they shed. During the molting process they change color. They have 10 legs used for moving and two pincers like claws used for cutting.
They have two long antennae which they use as sensors when they go to the bottom, because they disturb the water and the eyes can’t help in these conditions. Lobsters, like snails and spiders have blue blood because of a substance containing copper. Lobsters have a hepatopancreas which functions as the animal’s liver and pancreas. Usually lobsters are 25-50cm long.
When running they swim backwards with a speed of 5m/s.
Types of lobster:
- American Lobster
- European Lobster
- Rock Lobsters
- Slipper Lobsters
Research show that lobsters can not slow down, get weaker or lose fertility with age. As lobsters grow older they are more fertile. This is due to an enzyme and DNA. Because of that lobsters can reach incredible sizes, in Canada a lobster was caught weighing more than 20kg.
The most common way to kill a lobster is by boiling it in scalding water, or you can put a knife in its brain before boiling. In some countries it is forbidden to kill it by boiling, for example in Italy offenders face fines of 500euros.
Lobsters are trapped in cages located at water depths between 2 and 900m, although there are lobsters at 3700m too. The steel cages are covered with plastic or wood. A fisherman can set 2,000 traps.
Male lobsters deposit the sperm on the underside of the female’s body for later use. The female can store sperm for several months until it’s time to deposit eggs, usually during July-August.
Females give birth every two years. The number of eggs depends on the size of the female, about 5,000 eggs for a female of 25cm and 40,000 for a female of 36cm. There were cases when a female of 43cm laid 63,000 eggs, and another one even bigger close to 100,000.
The egg mass must be always "aerated" with no impurities and well oxygenated. The females carry their eggs for 10-11 months. After birth the babies are small and vulnerable (2-3cm long).
Mortality is high when young, that is why the female deposits so many eggs.
The European lobster has an average life span of 31 years for males and 54 years for females. Average life span in the wild: 50 years.
Did you know that:
The blood of the lobster is blue.
Lobster’s eyes like those of insects are composed of several eyes.
One of the best ways to prepare lobster tails is on the grill. Thus, the flavor is preserved longer.