What is Lobster?

Lobsters are a marine, nocturnal animal that is commonly found in the seafloor. They have long bodies with muscular tails. They have 8 pairs of legs. Three of the front pairs have large claws in them for movement purposes. Among them, the first one is larger than the others. The rests are the pincers, which are also considered to be legs. They are invertebrates with a hard exoskeleton. The lobsters have blue blood because of the presence of copper in them. Their body colours are usually dark. Most of the lobsters have bluish-green or brown colours. Although, you can find lobsters of many colours. The lobster scientific name is Nephropidae. Lobsters are highly popular as a seafood delicacy. They are a very popular form of dish. People in several tropical areas usually earn a lot of money by selling lobsters. The prices of lobsters are also very high at all places. Two of the most important species in terms of food are scampi and homarus. 


Moulting Process 

The lobsters actually have to moult in order to grow. The exoskeleton of the lobsters doesn’t grow. So, as the skeleton starts to get light; the lobsters shed them. Every time the lobster moults, it regenerates its body. Before the lobsters give up their existing shells, a new exoskeleton is formed underneath them. All the nutrients are absorbed back into the body. The water is taken back into the body, which swells up the old shell. The swelling up leads to the removal of the shell. The new shell is pretty soft in the initial days. After some time, this shell becomes hardened forming a new layer of the exoskeleton in the body. 


The female lobsters are quite weak in the moulting phase process. This is why they usually mate with the male lobsters during this phase because of the protection that the male lobsters can provide them during this phase. The female lobster is not strong enough during this phase and can easily be killed by predators. They are quite drained in this phase as well because of the high drainage of energy during the transition phase. The best choice for them is to procreate during this phase and receive protection in turn. 


You should also know that lobsters don’t mate for life. The monogamous bond between lobsters only lasts for two weeks. The male lobsters are more promiscuous. The only thing is that they don’t mate with any other lobster for those two weeks. They have one single mating partner for the two weeks phase. 


Types of Lobsters

There are several types of lobsters in the world. We usually come across only a few. The truth is there are many types and species of lobsters all across. Each of them is similar to the other as well as different from the others. There are mainly two types of lobsters. One is true lobster, which has claws. The second one is the false lobster, also known as spiny lobsters. There are many types of lobsters in these categories. Some of them are- 


1. Clawed Lobsters 

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These are the most prominent ones. These are the lobsters that we generally come across. As the name suggests, these types of lobsters have claws on their legs. They have five pairs of legs, which are used for walking. They have three pairs of claws as well. The scientific name for this category of lobster is Nephropidae. This is the lobster that is mainly eaten as seafood. It is the most served category of lobster in the world. These lobsters are known as American lobster or European lobster as well. 


2. Reef Lobsters

They also have claws but only a single pair of them. The rest of the legs don’t have claws on them. This is why they don’t fall in the category of clawed lobster. The scientific name for this type of lobster is  Enoplometopus. These lobsters are generally found anywhere. The population of these lobsters is pretty high as well. 


3. Spiny Lobsters

These are the lobsters without claws. They are known as spiny lobsters. They don’t have any claws on their front body. The scientific name of these lobsters is Palinuridae. These lobsters have a very big antenna, this is why they are called spiny. These are also one of the prominently eaten seafood dishes. You can order them at any place by this name. 


4. Furry Lobsters

These lobsters have furry like follicles on their body. This is why they are called furry lobsters. They also have big antennae, but it isn’t as large as spiny lobsters. They are quite small in size as compared to other lobster species. The furry lobsters are closely related to spiny lobsters and slipper lobsters. Their family name is Synaxidae.


5. Homarus

These are huge. These lobsters are also known as Homarus Gammarus. The common name for these lobsters is European lobster. They can grow up to 24 inches in length. They can weigh quite heavy as well. They are one of the most famous lobster delicacies. Because of its mass and size, people love to eat this lobster.  They are the heaviest lobster in the whole species. 


6. Norway Lobster

The bodies of this kind of lobster are orangish pink. Their body structure is quite narrow in comparison to others. These lobsters are called scampi when eaten as a dish. They are quite savoured in the European regions. Norway is also one of the countries where people eat to love lobster. There are some regions where even small lobsters festivals take place. 


There are many other types of lobster animals found in various parts of the world. Some of them are quite rare as well. The family of crustaceans is quite big and can be found in almost all the places with the sea. They have become quite popular as a delicacy. But some endangered species are forbidden from eating. There are some people who even pet lobsters in their tanks. They are quite fascinating animals. There are so many species that are being discovered in lobsters. 


Lobster Lifespan

Lobsters can live for 40-50 years in the wild. Although, the number of species has made it difficult to determine how long they live. The lobsters’ age is determined by taking into consideration factors like size, claws, region etc. The lobsters are thought to be fertile for their whole life. In fact, it is proven that the older lobsters are more fertile than the younger ones. The lobsters can live longer because of telomerase. It is an enzyme that repairs the DNA of the lobsters from time to time. This telomerase is found in the lobsters for all of their adult life, which is something that is not evident in other vertebrates. 


Although, the moulting process is thought to be the factor that reduces the lifespan of a lobster. The moulting process requires a lot of energy. The bigger the lobster will be, the more energy it will require. 


Ecology 

Lobsters are found in ocean and shore terrains. They usually live in crevices or under the bottom of the rock. The lobsters are mainly omnivores and they prey on fishes, crustaceans, worms, and some plants. When they are under severe circumstances, they are thought to be resorting to cannibalism and can even eat their counterparts for survival. The lobsters even eat their shed skin after moulting. The sea lobster usually walks on the sea surface during general times. In times of threat or duress, they swim backwards by curling and uncurling their abdomens. The fleeing away during a threatening situation is known as the caridoid escape reaction.


Lobster Fishing 

Lobster fishes are caught through fishing as well. Lobster fishing is a very big commercial activity because of its high demand in the seafood category. Although, it is very difficult to catch lobsters in large numbers. This is why the cultivators try to catch big size lobsters because they are highly demanded. Many legal restrictions are there in this segment. This is done to avoid overfishing. Certain species in the world are not allowed to be eaten. They fall in the category of endangered or protected species. Although, most of the species are present in abundance and can easily fulfil the demand for seafood. 


The changing global warming phenomenon is posing a threat to the lobster species. The change in the environment, ocean pollution and in some regions overfishing as well. There are many organizations that are warning that certain lobsters may even go extinct if a condition like this prevails. 


Mussel farming is being developed to eliminate this issue of overfishing. The experts are working to develop a new king mussel farming wherein the sustainability of fishing can be achieved. The farmers will be able to control the quantity and numbers of the lobsters they are catching. This will lead to more precise lobster fishing numbers. 


Did you know? 

Reef lobsters cannot coexist with their counterparts. They are highly aggressive lobsters who don’t like anyone intruding on their territory. They get into fights with their counterparts. Only one specimen can coexist together. These lobsters are known to coexist with only their mated partners. This is why those who pet reef lobsters are advised to keep only a specimen or mated partners together in the fish tank. 


Also, these lobsters keep growing continuously for their whole lifetime. This is a very unique thing about these lobsters. Reef lobsters can remain aggressive for their life because of this. They keep growing big as they progress in their life. 

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is the Colour of the Lobsters’ Blood?

Human blood is red in colour but in the case of the blood of lobsters, it is colourless. They inherently don’t have any colour of their own. The blood of the lobsters turns blue when it is exposed to the oxygen in the air. The general perception is that their blood is blue because when we see their blood, it is already exposed to oxygen. The truth is, if you see their blood in the non-oxygen zone, you will find that their blood has no colour. There is hemocyanin present in their blood, which turns bluish after being exposed to oxygen. This fact is true for snails and spiders. Their blood is colourless as well because of the same phenomenon. 

2. Can Lobster Swim?

Although lobsters are aquatic species, the irony is that they cannot swim in the water. In fact, they crawl on the sea bed with the help of their walking legs. They also contract and retract their tail for facilitating walking on the sea surface. The tail gives them a better grip while walking. The lobster’s larvae don’t have any legs thus they keep floating through the surface of the ocean. They flow with the current. As they grow older, they start growing legs and swimmerets. This allows them to settle on the surface for good. After growing up, they cannot float through the surface of the ocean. Hence, they are more of creepers rather than swimmers. 

3. How are Lobsters Cooked?

Lobsters have been eaten for centuries. The evidence of these animals being eaten in the past has surfaced up quite a lot of times. People have been eating these as dishes for centuries in regions like Australia, Britain, America, Europe, and Africa. They are usually served boiled or steamed in the shell, with lemon juice or melted butter. There are many other dishes of lobsters like rolls, soups etc. When the lobsters are cooked, the colour of the skin changes from blue to brown due to the heat and cooking. There is a release of chemicals because of this. 


The meat of the lobster is quite delicious and people savour it because of the filling as well as the unique taste of lobsters. There are numerous restaurants in the world that only serve lobsters as dishes in their restaurants. People also pay quite a lot of money to have a good dish of lobster for their meal. The bigger the size of the lobster, the more favourable it will be to be eaten.