They are similar prawns in their surface appearance but are slightly larger in size than them. We call them lobsters. Lobsters include a big family of aquatic crustaceans. They are known to us as seafood, and the United States profit billions every year because of them. However, today, we talk about lobster as a marine creature and not as a significant food source for hungry humans.
Lobsters- Species and Characteristics
Lobsters belong to the class Arthropoda and are invertebrates with a well-evolved exoskeleton. They also molt several times to attain adulthood, and at this time, they are mostly killed by the predators. At the time of molting, many species of Lobsters are known to alter the color. They have ten walking legs. The first pair of delicate legs have evolved into claws. Like other arthropods, they are also symmetrical and often bear specialized and unequal claws similar to the king crab.
Features and Habitat
Lobster’s body is split into two regions, which are the abdomen and cephalothorax. The head is blended with the thorax, and therefore, it is known as cephalothorax. It is enveloped by a chitinous covering known as the carapace. The head is covered with several appendages. These appendages include
- first and second maxillae,
- mandibles, and
- first, second and third maxillipeds.
Lobsters love to dwell in a muddy ecosystem, and therefore they use their exclusive antennae as chemoreceptors. The eye bears a structure similar to a reflective glass just above the retina. The abdomen is covered with swimmerets, which are composed of telson and uropods.
Like snails and spiders, lobsters have blue blood due to the presence of hemocyanin, which include copper. In contrast, vertebrates and many other animals have red blood from iron-rich hemoglobin. This is a difference that is noticeable.
They bear a characteristic organ known as hepatopancreas, which is green colored and carries out pancreas and liver’s’ function.
Hepatopancreas is prized as tomalley by famous chefs. They attain a length of 25-50 centimeters and are known to stroll on the seafloor. When disturbed, they swim by uncurling and curling their abdomen.
They can crawl at a speed of 5 meters per second. This is termed a caridoid escape reaction. Recent studies have shown that the lobsters do not show a decline in fertility with ageing. This longevity is mainly due to an enzyme known as telomerase, which plays an essential role in the DNA repair mechanism in the form of a sequence TTAGGG. This sequence is often known to as the telomere of DNA. Longevity also allows them to reach remarkable sizes. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, fishers caught the largest lobster in Canada, and it weighed 20.15 kg.
They are found in marine ecosystems from the shoreline to the continental shelf. They are solitary, living either in the crevices o4 under the rocks. They are omnivorous and prey upon small crustaceans, worms, and some plant material. They are also known to display cannibalism when kept in captivity and eat the molted skin after each molt.