Coming up on Jonathan Bird's Blue World, Jonathan meets some big lobsters.
All of this today on Jonathan Bird's Blue World!
Hi, I'm Jonathan Bird and welcome to my world!
The American Lobster may not look all that tasty,
but this large crustacean that was once considered a nuisance by catch is now considered a delicacy around the world.
Although they are shipped to restaurants everywhere, they come from the cold waters of the North Atlantic,
mostly from New England and Eastern Canada.
I want to find a really big lobster,
so I've come to Eastport, Maine, right on the Canadian border to hunt for a monster!
Lobsters hunt at night, so they like to hide in holes in the rocks during the day.
This is what you normally see of a lobster during the day—just a couple of claws sticking out of its den.
With some gentle prodding, the lobster will come out to defend its turf.
Lobsters are extremely territorial and often fight each other for prime dens.
I have to be very careful of the claws.
If this lobster gets hold of my hand or fingers it can easily break them.
Note that this lobster has a larger claw on the left side.
This is called the crusher claw.
The other is the pincher or ripping claw.
The crusher claw tells us this lobster is left-handed...er---clawed.
When a lobster gets this big, it demands respect!
Maine is the lobster capital of the US,
and Boothbay harbor is one of the most popular places to visit if you want a fresh lobster dinner.
It's also the home of the Maine State Aquarium, where I'm learning a little bit about the life cycle of lobsters.
I'm venturing behind the scenes in the Bigelow Laboratory where they conduct research on lobsters.
Researcher Aimee Hayden-Roderigues introduces me to some of the unusual lobsters in their collection.
研究员Aimee Hayden-Roderigues向我介绍了他们收集的一些非同寻常的龙虾 。
Now most lobsters are not red - that's the color they are when they're cooked.
In the wild, lobsters are more this color, sort of an olivey color, maybe with a little bit of green and some orange.
Now, every once in a while, however, you'll come across a lobster that looks like this.
This blue coloration is an extremely rare pigmentation found one in every three million lobsters.
And I have to say, they are cool!
Now, if you want to talk about rare genetic variations, this one takes the cake.
This one is called a bi-color lobster and you can see that the color is divided right down the middle,
one side's blue and the other side's kind of a pale yellow.
These bi-color lobsters are so rare only one in every 100 million of these are born this color.
That is one rare lobster.
This female lobster has something very special going on.
If you look underneath her tail, it's full of eggs.
The female incubates thousands of eggs under her tail for up to a year before they hatch,
and then when it's time for them to hatch, she releases the eggs out into the water,
they hatch with little larvae that swim off into the water to become planktonic lobsters.
Lobsters don't grow very quickly, and just to give you an example,
this is about a one-month old lobster, just old enough that it has settled down to the bottom after being plankton.
But from this to the next phase...takes a long time.
This little guy - HEY - this little guy is between a year and two years old.
It takes a long time for a lobster just to reach this size, and this is nowhere near market-size yet.
Incidentally, they pinch...
Now this one...this one is just barely old enough to be a legal lobster for a lobsterman to catch,
and it's probably seven years old.
So it takes seven years just for a lobster to big enough to catch,
so you can imagine how long it takes for those really big ones to get three feet long.
A few hundred years ago, lobsters were incredibly abundant.
In fact, after a big storm, the beaches would be covered in lobsters washed up by the waves.
Back then, lobsters were considered cheap food for poor people. How times change!
Lobstermen catch lobsters using a simple trap,
the design of which hasn't changed much in a hundred years.