Soli­tary life of lob­sters

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Countryfile -

While walk­ing at Dun­geness re­cently, I came across a fresh, in­tact, but dead lob­ster on the tide­line. Al­though I sus­pect it had come from a lo­cal fish shop which had lobbed it out for the gulls to eat, it was still a sur­prise. The lob­ster is the largest crus­tacean to be found in Bri­tish wa­ters and they have a rich blue and brown coloura­tion to their thick and tough ex­oskele­ton. Among the no­tice­able fea­tures of a lob­ster are the big front pin­cers, plus the long an­ten­nae swept back over the body and the well de­vel­oped four pairs of walk­ing legs. Lob­sters live mainly a soli­tary life and can be quite ag­gres­sive in na­ture. They can live up to 15-20 years, they breed once a year, but only af­ter they are five years old. They are scav­engers and feed on car­rion and gen­er­ally feed at night. Re­mem­ber the size of the lob­ster is re­lated to its diet and not to its age (a bit like hu­mans then!). The fe­male lob­ster, like most crab species, car­ries her eggs un­der her shell which is known as be­ing in berry. The eggs hatch af­ter 10 months as plank­tonic lar­vae, but it is very much a mys­tery what the small lar­vae do for the first cou­ple of years as the lob­sters de­velop.

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