and Facts about Lobsters.
Atlantic lobsters the same as rock lobsters?
The lobster fished off eastern Canada and
the northeastern United States is the American lobster. The rock
lobster is a spiny lobster, which has no large claws and is found off
the coast of Europe and in more southern waters.
2. How can you tell the
difference between male and female lobster?
Female lobster generally are wider in the
upper dorsal tail region (allows room in the tail to store the
premature eggs.) Females can also he distinguished by their soft, thin
set of first pleopods (swimmerets). Males have a hard, thicker set of
first pleopods and have smaller hard appendages attached to their
second set of pleopods.
3. What do lobsters eat?
Contrary to popular belief, lobsters are not
scavengers. They eat fish, alive or dead and animals that live in the
bottom of the ocean, such as clams, snails, starfish and crabs.
Lobsters are also cannibals, feeding on smaller weaker lobsters. The
teeth of a lobster are in its stomach. The stomach is located a short
distance from the mouth and the food is actually chewed in the stomach
between three grinding surfaces that look like molar teeth, called the
4. What happens when
In the summer when the waters have warmed,
lobsters shed the shells that they have outgrown, exposing a new,
larger shell underneath. The new shell is very soft, and takes time to
harden. This is helped by eating the old shell to recover lost
minerals. Although most lobsters shed every year, young fast-growing
lobsters may shed more than once a year; while large old lobsters shed
every few years.
5. What's the largest
lobster ever caught?
The largest (recorded) lobster caught was
42.4 LBS had a carapace of 14.9 Inches and a total body length of 24.1
Inches. It was caught in 1934 and was probably at least 100 years old!
6. How old are lobsters at
A canner may be only 5 or 6 years old, a 1
pound lobster would be about 7-8 years old, and a jumbo (over 8
pounds) may be 20 - 50 years old. A lobster's age is approximately his
weight multiplied by 4, plus 3 years.
7. How long does the female
carry her eggs?
A lobster egg is the size of the head of a
pin. A 1LB female lobster usually has between 8,000 to 12,000 eggs
that are attached to the underside of her tail with a special
glue-like substance. She carries the eggs for about a year, depending
on the temperature of the water, until they are released as larvae
(about the size of a mosquito).
8. What causes different
colors in lobsters?
Blue lobsters are caused by a genetic
defect. Rather than containing the pigments, which combine to make a
green-brown color, the shell contains only a blue pigment. Genetic
defects also cause other strange coloring such as light orange, and
patterns such as yellow spots.
9. How well can lobsters
Lobsters seem to be able to see images and
detect movement, and may actually have color vision. Due to the
darkness at the depths where they live, lobsters rely more on
chemoreception and touch than vision. Chemoreception involves
detecting chemicals in the water such as odors and food. The sense of
touch involves hair-like projections over the surface of the lobster,
which help to detect changes in water current, and therefore movements
10. Do lobsters have blood?
Yes, a clear or white blood with a slight
bluish tint is pumped through the body of the lobster by the heart.
The blue tint is caused by copper, which is used as the oxygen carrier
in the blood. Human's red colored blood is due to iron being the
oxygen carrier. When claws, legs or antennas of lobster are ripped
off, or the shell is cracked or punctured, the lobster can be weakened
and even die from loss of blood.
11. How do lobsters survive
out of water?
Lobsters have specialized gills that allow
them to extract oxygen from air as well as in water. A thin film of
water coating the gill surface is necessary for oxygen to be extracted
by the gills from the air. Lobsters can survive out of the water for a
number of days, but must be kept cool and damp.
12. What is this clump of
little red balls in my lobster's tail?
You have in your hands a female lobster that
has immature eggs that haven't been released yet. It is called coral,
and many people feel it is a delicacy and call it lobster caviar. If
you are splitting a live lobster for stuffing, or if your lobster is
undercooked, the coral will appear black.
13. Do lobsters feel pain
when immersed in boiling water?
Pain is a human concept. Human beings and
other vertebrates possessing an advanced nervous system, feel pain.
Lobsters are invertebrates, with a very primitive nervous system
similar to that of a grasshopper. A lobster's nervous system is lower
on the evolutionary scale than that of fish, and is designed to
respond to very basic stimuli contained within their habitat.
Scientific research conducted at the Maine department of marine
resources shows that lobsters, like most other marine invertebrates,
do not tolerate heat and can die at temperatures of 85 degrees
Fahrenheit (30 degrees C), which feels lukewarm to human touch.
Contrary to some reports, they also lack vocal chords. The sound that
a lobster makes when it hits the steam isn't a 'scream' but simply air
escaping from the lobster's body cavity as it expands from the heat.
14. Why do lobsters twitch
after being immersed in boiling water?
Lobsters die almost immediately upon contact
with boiling water. However; the tail may twitch for approximately one
minute after being immersed. According to scientific research, this is
part of an involuntary muscle response. Known as the escape response,
it is a reflex action to any sudden stimuli. Sometimes, lobsters emit
a clicking sound, similar to that made by grasshoppers and crickets.
In fact, lobsters make this sound in the same way that crickets do.
15. Is hard shell or soft
Hard shell lobsters are much meatier than
soft-shell lobsters. To determine whether a lobster is hard-shell or
soft-shell, squeeze the side of the lobsters body; a soft-shell
lobster will yield to pressure while a hard-shell will be hard,
brittle, and tightly packed.
16. Can lobsters smell?
Lobsters 'smell' their food by using four
small antennae on the front of their heads and tiny sensing hairs that
cover their bodies.
17. How long can lobster
survive when kept in storage without food?
Canadian fishing seasons ensure that Nova
Scotia lobsters are caught only when the shells are hard and the
lobsters are full of meat. These lobsters are in prime condition, and
could go without food for up to a year at low temperatures without any
change in meat quality or content. A hard shelled, full meated lobster
has energy reserves contained in the digestive gland or tomalley. A
lobster would use these reserves when they are in storage. Lobsters
are naturally adapted to going without food for long periods of time.
During the winter, when water temperatures are cold and below 38
degrees F (4 degrees C) lobsters go into a state similar to
hibernation and stop feeding. They move about very little, preferring
to remain in their rocky or sandy burrows.
18. What is the best way to
Whether prepared at home or in a restaurant,
lobsters have traditionally been cooked by immersing them in a pot of
salted water, which has been heated to a rolling boil. Lobsters die
within seconds upon being immersed in boiling water. This cooking
method also offers the advantage of retaining the delicate texture and
flavor of the product, important consideration given to the fact that
lobsters are a high-priced consumer product. Crustaceans such as
lobsters and crabs, are generally sold live and cooked live to ensure
top quality and product safety.
19. Why do lobsters turn
red when cooked?
Lobsters are naturally red in color, which
is caused by a pigment, similar to that, which is found in carrots.
When the lobster is laying down its shell, the pigment combines with
protein, temporarily changing the pigment. Instead of reflecting red,
which would be the normal color of the lobster pigment, the shell can
display a variety of colors. Usually, the altered carotenoid shows up
as a greenish-blue color. Cooking breaks down the protein, releasing
the carotenoid pigment. The lobster then turns its natural color,
which is red. The change in color usually occurs rapidly since the
protein begins to break down as soon as the lobster is immersed in
20. How to eat lobster?
21. Hard or Soft shell?
22. What is the best lobster to eat?
Lobster is one of the few meal choices that invites you to choose
your own victim. While there are some restaurants in the Midwest where
you can pick out your own steak, it's not like seeing the whole cow.
With lobsters, you do see the whole thing. This leaves the diner with
several tough decisions:
Should you have a soft-shell or a hard-shell lobster?
Will a large lobster be as tender as a small lobster?
Should you choose a male or a female?
Should you choose a green lobster or a red one?
According to David Dow, former Director of the Lobster Institute in
Orono, Maine, and a lobsterman himself, "Most people in the
industry prefer the new shell: the 'shedders.' Their meat is sweet,
and their shells are easy to break apart." However, others claim
hard-shelled lobsters are better because their meat is firmer and
there is more of it than in a newly molted lobster. Of course, you
have to expect that the shell will not be crammed full of lobster meat
in a 'shedder.' Lobster dealers sometimes refer to soft-shell lobsters
as "low quality". It's not that they don't taste as good,
but rather that in their weakened post-molt condition, these lobsters
do not transport well.
Dow also claims that large lobsters taste as good as small ones
"until you get to 5 to 7 pounds, then the meat gets kind of
stringy." Advocates of tail meat recommend getting a female whose
tail is broader than a male's of equal size since she uses the space
to carry her eggs. The best time to buy lobsters is in the fall, after
Labor Day, when all the tourists have gone home and the lobster
landings are at their highest. Because lobster meat can go bad
quickly, it's generally necessary to cook
lobster while it's still alive. That means you pick a green
lobster, but do not eat it until its shell turns red! Never eat a
cooked lobster with its tail uncurled, as it has died before it was
Prior to the turn of the Century (1900),
lobsters were used primarily for fertilizer
and thought unfit for human