Solitary life of lobsters
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.