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Lobster Facts and Trivia

Not quite as effective as the cute puppies in the humane society ads.

My friend Marcy has been telling me for years that I need a dog.  She thinks it would be good for me to have a pet for companionship.  I have always avoided getting one based on the fact that my schedule prevents me from being home frequently enough to let it outside.  I can see the benefit of having a pet, I just don’t think that a dog is the right pet for me.  I personally think I am more of a lobster guy.  While lobsters may not be the most common pets, I find them absolutely fascinating.  Of course a chilled salt-water tank is a bit more of a financial commitment than a food and water bowl, so I remain without a pet lobster.  As a prelude to my purchase of “Rock” (I have already named him), I wanted to share with you some reasons why lobsters are way cooler than most animals.

The central nervous system of a lobster is most commonly compared to a grasshopper.  Each has roughly the same sized brain.

Lobsters are able to amputate any of their appendages.  They can make them just drop off.  No worries though, they can regenerate them as well.

Lobsters have two types of claws.  The larger more powerful claw is the “crusher.”  The smaller is called the “pincer” and is used for cutting.  Lobsters can have either type of claw on either side.  This makes them left or right clawed.

Lobsters come in a variety of colors.  Most are a dark reddish brown before cooking.  However some have been caught that were yellow, blue, red, or even albino.

Male lobsters are called “cocks” while females are called “chickens” or “hens”

Lobsters grow by molting their shell.  For their first five to seven years they will molt up to 25 times a year.

After molting, lobsters will hide under rocks until their new shell has hardened.

After molting the female lobsters are also ready to mate.  A female lobster can carry the sperm of a male for up to two years before deciding to fertilize her eggs.

Lobsters live in murky water and therefore have poor vision.  They hunt by sense of smell and usually at night.

A lobster’s teeth are in its stomach.

Lobsters swim backwards by curling their tale and can reach speeds of over 10 miles per hour.

Lobsters can become cannibalistic in close quarters.  The bands placed on their claws are generally to protect them from each other rather than protecting humans from them.

Over 200,000 tons of lobster is caught every year.  This makes it a multi billion dollar industry.

Lobster shells turn red when they are cooked because they contain astaxanthin.  This is the same substance that makes wild salmon red.

The largest lobster ever caught weighed over 44 pounds.

Lobsters have a trait called “negligible senescence” which means that they do not lose reproductive capability or organ function as they age.  This means that under controlled conditions lobsters could live virtually indefinitely.

While lobsters are considered a luxury meal now, they have not always been.  Early settlers used them for fertilizer.  Indentured servants would often have contractual agreements limiting the number of lobsters they could be fed a week.

The high demand for lobsters have lead to several attempts to raise them through aquaculture, but all have been unsuccessful.

Lobster blood is colorless until exposed to air.

Lobsters can live for days outside of water if kept in a cool, moist environment.

If a lobster is stood on its “face” and rubbed on it’s back, it will fall asleep.

“Lobster” in other languages:

Spanish: langosta

Albanian: karavidhe

Arabic: سرطان البحر

Chinese: 龙虾

Croatian: jastog

Czech: humr

Dutch: kreeft

Filipino: ulang

French: homard

German: Hummer

Greek: αστακός

Haitian Creole: woma

Hebrew: לובסטר

Irish: gliomach

Italian: aragosta

Korean: 바닷가재

Persian: خرچنگ دریایی

Polish: homar

Russian: омар

Serbian: јастог

Thai: กุ้งก้ามกราม

Turkish: ıstakor

Yiddish: האָמאַר

My pet lobster idea is looking cooler by the minute.  Sure your pooch can do tricks, but can it regenerate appendages?  The drawback of my pet lobster idea is still the guilt I would face every time a guest at work orders one.  That is also why I stopped this post where I did.  The idea of a pet lobster does not go well with my tips on picking, shelling, and serving lobsters.  That post will have to be saved for another day.

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About David Hayden

David Hayden is the creator of The Hospitality Formula Network, a series of websites dedicated to all aspects of the restaurant industry. He is also the author of the book Tips2: Tips For Improving Your Tips and Building Your Brand With Facebook.

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6 comments on “Lobster Facts and Trivia

  1. very interesting!! thanks for sharing! i have a cousin who had a lobster as a pet actually so you can totally keep them as pets :0)

    • tipsfortips on said:

      The problem is that running a salt water tank with a chiller is pretty expensive. Chillers cost more and use far more electricity than warmers. What many people do is get langostinos or spiny lobsters as pets. These are warm water lobsters and are far easier to maintain. It just isn’t the same to me though.

      There is also someone else on the dog bandwagon though that I can’t quite switch to team lobster. She is pretty effective at persuading me to see things through her point of view. Maybe you can help persuade her to team lobster.

  2. Did you know that your hebrew one, is just lobster transliterated into the hebrew alphabet? It literally just says lobster.

  3. And Hemingway used to walk his down the street on a leash, I always thought that was cool

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