Lobsters are the most iconic creatures of the open water because of their distinctive exoskeletons and robust claws. Among all species, the American lobster stands out, making it a worthwhile subject for ocean enthusiasts. Moreover, succulent meat has widespread popularity in seafood cuisine. This article will provide a comprehensive guide on the lifestyle of American lobsters, covering everything from their biology to conservation efforts.
What is the Taxonomic Classification of American Lobster?
The scientific name of American lobsters is Homarus americanus, and are classified as:
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Class: Crustacea
- Order: Decapoda
- Family: Nephropidae
- Genus: Homarus
- Species: americanus
What is the Geographical Distribution of the American Lobsters?
American lobsters are found living along the Atlantic coast of North America, and North Carolina in the United States. They prefer rocky and sandy ocean floors and, therefore, thrive at depths of 30 to 300 feet. These lobsters are known to be territorial and often seek out the crevices and rocky outcrops to create their dens and protect themselves from predators.
What Is the Appearance of American Lobsters?
The exoskeleton of the American lobster is hard and spiny, and it has two enormous, asymmetrical claws used to crush its food efficiently. They blend well with their rocky ocean environment thanks to their spotted greenish-brown to grayish-blue coloring.
They can also regrow missing body parts, which helps them survive in hostile and hazardous underwater environments. The typical American lobster is 25 cm in length and weighs about 0.5 kg, but the most giant lobster ever captured weighed over 20 kg and is 1.1 m in length.
What Feeding Behavior Do American Lobsters Exhibit?
Depending on their size, location, and accessibility of food, American lobsters’ diets might fluctuate. They are opportunistic eaters who hunt a range of food, including fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and debris. They are also scavengers that feast on both dead and live prey. They use their powerful crusher claw to crack and open the shells of the prey, while their cutter claw helps them tear the meal into manageable pieces.
What Reproductive Pattern Do American Lobsters Exhibit?
The reproductive cycle of American lobsters begins in the late summer or early fall. The male lobster deposits a pack of sperm called spermatophore into the seminal receptacle of the female, to fertilize the eggs. After fertilization, the female carries the eggs attached to her abdomen for approximately 9 to 12 months. At the end of the incubation period, a large number of eggs range from a few thousand to over 100,000 hatches, and tiny lobster larvae, called zoea, drift in the ocean currents for several weeks before settling on the ocean floor.
What is the Conservation Rank of American Lobsters?
American lobster is not considered endangered or threatened in fact they are labeled as Not Extinct species by the IUCN. However, in their natural habitat, these species face several conservation challenges such as habitat destruction, overfishing, and climate change, threatening their behavior as well as population. Rising ocean temperatures and ocean acidification may pose risks to lobster larvae and juveniles.
Interesting Facts About American Lobsters
There are many amazing facts about American lobsters, such as:
- American lobsters are known to be the oldest living lobster species on the planet.
- Depending on the pigments in their food, they exhibit vibrant colors that vary from greenish-brown to blue hues and sometimes orange or yellow.
- Through a process known as autotomy, lobsters are capable of regenerating the missing limbs.
- American lobsters have an estimated lifespan of 100 years and can survive for several decades.
- They have an excellent sense of smell and are able to identify the direction of the smells quickly.
The American lobster is considered the most astonishing creature that occupies a special spot in the hearts of coastal communities throughout the United States. Their appearance, habitat, feeding, and reproductive patterns make them a worthwhile subject for ocean enthusiasts. Therefore, it is necessary to implement sustainable choices and conservation efforts to make sure that the upcoming generations can appreciate this iconic marine species.