9 Things You Never Knew About Lobsters

9 Things You Never Knew About Lobsters

Here's a list of 9 things you never knew about lobsters, you'd be surprised at some of the things these do. For example, did you know that lobster didn't used to be a high class meal, it used to be a meal for the poor but has since evolved in to this elegant dish we have today.

1. Lobsters can be right or left-handed. Lobsters two claws are not the same. Look carefully and you’ll see one is more rounded and one is thinner, more elongated. The powerful crusher claw is the main claw. The elongated tearing claw is used by the lobster to tear flesh from its food.

2. Lobsters are homebodies. While many fish travel far and wide. Lobsters generally stay within a 3,000 foot radius on the ocean floor - meaning they are “benthic”. They also prefer areas with many crevices and holes to hide in. Considering how vulnerable a molting lobster is, this is understandable.

3. Lobsters are long shot survivors - until they land on your plate, of course. For that lobster to have made it to your pot, it will have survived very tough odds. First, the female will generally lay approximately 5,000 eggs. Only 5 - 12 of those will survive to maturity. Not 500 - five. Tiny lobsters are also quite vulnerable, and the repeated molting of the hard shell leaves even mature lobsters naked of their armor at regular intervals. They’re also pretty feisty and many adults will die in lobster-on-lobster violence, too.

4. The lobster’s legs do more than propel them. Lobsters use their swimmerettes for reproduction. In fact the top two swimmerettes on a male lobster are held together to create a channel for guiding the sperm to the female’s eggs. Much of a lobster’s propulsion comes from the tail, pulling them backwards, so they can have their claws toward their predator.

5. Lobsters are popular in Summer but it’s probably not a Summer lobster you’re eating. July and August are when most lobsters are molting. They outgrow and shed their shells up to 25 times during the first five years of their lives. Lobsters caught throughout the year are often kept in cooled bins with water flowing constantly over them, keeping them in a state of hibernation.

6. Mating behaviors of Lobsters are quite tender. The female lobster actually molts before mating, making her completely vulnerable. You might say she undresses completely before doing the deed. The mating ritual often begins after a lobster battle. To the victor go the spoils. The female will project her pheromones from spouts near her head toward the victorious object of her affection. He will fan the perfume throughout his den and she enters. If all goes well she begins to shed her shell, mating happens gently as the male is still in his armor, she could easily perish. She sticks around until her new shell hardens, then leaves. The eggs descend from inside her, to their special spot on the underbelly of her brand-new shell.

7. If the tail on the lobster you were served is floppy; it was cooked dead. This is bad. Experts recommend cooking lobsters, live, in water the salinity of the sea. If you cannot drag your pot into the water, add 275g of salt to each gallon of water. To cook the lobster in a more humane way, pop your lobster into the freezer for a few minutes. This will put the lobster into a hibernation-type of state. After you remove the rubber bands from its claws, plunge the sleepy crustacean into the boiling water head first. Bring the water back to a boil - 12 minutes for a one pound (450g) lobster increasing cooking time about one minute for each additional 1/4 pound. Store cooked lobster on its back. The carapace (shell) will hold more of the juices. A lobster tail also holds the secret to its sex, wider hips = female.

8. Lobsters are omnivores. They will eat fish, mollusks, plants, algae, even other lobsters. In fact, after the lobster molts it consumes its own shell presumably for calcium.

9. Lobster have lousy eyesight, but they can taste with their feet. Thousands of little hairs coming out of their feet, and their antennae and antennules help the lobster to smell and sense what is in the water near them. Whether it’s the female lobster’s pheromones, or a tasty snack, the lobster will taste or smell it long before it ever sees it.

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