By: Parimal M. Rohit
Lobster hunting season arrives Sept. 27. How much do you know about the bottom-feeder invertebrates? Below are some fun facts about those shelled creatures.
It is more scared of you than you are of it
Does it come as any surprise that among the common predators to lobsters are humans? While there are certainly many humans who enjoy or make a living out of lobster hunting, there are also many other natural predators to the bottom-feeder invertebrates, including: giant sea bass; horn shark; leopard shark; sea otters; octopus; cabezon and California sheephead.
Age is nothing but a number
According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, while there is no way to accurately determine the life expectancy of lobsters, a spiny lobster is believed to live for at least 50 years. In 2009, a 140 year old clawed lobster was reportedly discovered in Maine.
Have no fear, the clawless California lobster is here
It is interesting to note that California lobsters are different than the invertebrate sea bugs found in New England. Specifically, the California spiny lobster is found along the Pacific Ocean between Point Conception and the West Coast of Baja California. Instead of claws, long and durable antennae are found at the front of spiny lobsters.
Across the country, lobsters caught off the coast of Maine have large claws that serve as a defense mechanism. Here in California, spiny lobsters use their “spiny” exterior to defend against predators.
Clawed lobsters thrive in cold climate water typical of New England, while spiny lobsters are found in warmer water.
Sushi is a delicatessen over and under water
Raw fish might be a pleasant dining experience for humans above water; however, underwater, lobsters apparently prefer to eat its food live or fresh. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a lobster’s prey includes clams, crabs, fish, mussels, and sea urchins.
Roses are red, most lobsters are not
According to multiple sources, lobsters come in many different colors, including yellow, blue, green, black and multi-colored. Certainly makes you wonder about the name of a certain lobster-themed restaurant chain.
Octomom has nothing on a pregnant lobster
California native Nadya Suleman was commonly referred to by the media as “Octomom” after she gave birth to octuplets. Female lobsters, however, can carry up to 8,000 eggs, according to the California Department of Fish and Game, a small fraction of which actually survive into adulthood.