The American lobster is a species of lobster found on the Atlantic coast of North America. Reaching a mass of over 44 pounds, this lobster is not only the heaviest crustacean in the world but also the heaviest of all living arthropod species! However, that didn’t stop it from becoming one of the most popular and exotic dishes in the world. But, let’s learn something new about this giant, shall we?
Where can we find the American lobster?
Distributed along the Atlantic coast of North America, our friend occurs from Labrador in the north to North Carolina in the south. However, in the south of New Jersey, the species is uncommon. Thus, our bottom-dwelling friend inhabits cold and rocky waters. Yet, it can be found in all of the world’s oceans as well as brackish environments and even freshwater.
How does the American lobster look?
When it comes to appearance, the first thing you will notice on this lobster is its large, crushing claws! Moreover, the first pair of legs are armed with an asymmetric pair of claws. But, each one of them has its purpose! Thus, the larger one is the “crusher” and has rounded nodules used for crushing prey. The “cutter”, on the other hand, with sharp inner edges, is used for holding and tearing. Moreover, the normal coloration is redder on the body and claws, and greener on the legs. Finally, as the largest arthropod ever, the lobster can grow up to 25 inches and weigh over 44 pounds!
Diet and hunting.
We all saw the huge claws this giant possesses, so you can guess the hunting is not a big deal here, right? Although it has poor eyesight, the lobster has a highly developed sense of taste and smell. Thus, the main diet includes mollusks, echinoderms, and polychaetes. Yet, a wide range of other items can be eaten, such as crustaceans, brittle stars, and cnidarians. And, when it comes to lobster’s enemies, seals, octopods, large fish, but also us, humans prey on this amazing animal.
Mating takes place only shortly after the female has molted when her exoskeleton is still soft. Thus, she will release a pheromone causing the males to be less aggressive and begin the courtship. Of course, this means dancing! Therefore, the pair will perform the courtship dance with their claws closed. Then, our female will release the eggs which are then attached to her pleopods. The eggs remain here until ready to hatch, for about 10 to 11 months. Finally, when they hatch, the mother releases them into water. After 25 to 27 molting, the lobster reaches the minimum landing size.
Did you know the American lobster grows constantly throughout its life and can live more than 50 years?
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