Lobsters are omnivorous species of large marine crustaceans that live in the benthic zone of the ocean, settling in cracks or holes of the seafloor. They have long bodies covered with hard shells. Their blood contains hemocyanin which makes their blood blue. They can grow up to fifty centimeters long and can weigh up to four lbs. They have a long-life span and can live for a hundred years as long as they stay in seawater. But, what if they stay out of the water? Though lobsters can live a century-long, they can die quickly out of the water. A lobster can only survive for about 36 hours after being taken out of the water, only if kept in a humid and cool area. Lobsters use gills to breathe, and so to keep their gills intact, it must be kept moist otherwise it will start to collapse.
Proper storage and keeping lobsters alive?
As lobsters perish quickly out of the water, it is necessary to know that proper storage and handling of lobster is essential in keeping it fresh. It is still advisable to cook lobsters immediately. However, when the delay in cooking is inevitable, it’s necessary to know the proper way to store them.
Here are some useful tips on how to best store and keep lobster fresh:
- Use a damp newspaper or seaweed to keep the moisture on their gills
- Use a sturdy and loose paper bag to store the lobster
- Store in the coldest part of the refrigerator or in the meat keeper
- Check regularly and observe if it’s beginning to die (showing little or no movement)
- Do not put the lobster in the freezer
- Do not put the lobster in freshwater
- Do not put in warm or hot water
What’s the best way to cook lobster (dead or alive)?
Lobsters can still be cooked even after they die, some lobsters are even sold frozen in the grocery stores. However, it is still best to cook immediately or while it is still alive. Lobsters can perish quickly when they die because the bacteria present in their flesh doubles rapidly when they die.
Never attempt to eat nor cook lobster when the consistency is like cottage cheese, or it has been more than 24 hours dead. Smell the lobster, it normally has a sea-faint smell, but as it deteriorates the smell becomes foul and pungent. Also, the lobster tail can tell if it is still good or bad, normally, the tail will curl under its body when it is in good condition, otherwise, it’s your cue to throw it away.
Why does a lobster live so long?
Lobsters are not immortal even though they have an extraordinary life span. They will eventually die, but why do lobsters live so long? There’s a science behind that. Here are some of the reasons why:
- Lobsters do not experience senescence (a process of deterioration with age)
- Lobsters can repair their DNA endlessly
- Lobsters have an unlimited supply of telomerase (an enzyme constantly rebuilding lobster’s telomeres)
- Their shells are very sturdy which serves as protection against predators
- They live deep at the bottom of the ocean where there’s no pollution
- Lobsters who live in a colder water temperature also live longer. The cold temperature slows down the metabolism.
Lobsters grow by molting, but when lobsters become old, they stop molting, it’s a cue that they are nearing their end. Just like any other creature, molting also requires energy, and as lobsters age, they become exhausted when they molt. Their exhaustion will cause them to stop molting, and when it happens, shells will degenerate and break, which will make them more vulnerable to infections and to predators, and then ultimately die.
How long does a lobster live in a zoo vs. in the wild?
The salty water of the ocean is the natural habitat of this big clawed crustacean creature, but what if lobsters are put in a zoo? How long will they survive? Lobsters undoubtedly live long in the seawater but when they are kept in a zoo, life span is definitely shorter. The lifespan of a lobster in a zoo or as a pet is still unknown. Their lifespans will depend on how they are being taken care of.
Here are things to consider when putting them in a zoo:
- Know that only four species can survive in a tank (e.g debelius lobster, feather star squat lobster, red lobster, and spiny lobster)
- Set up a spacious, regularly maintained saltwater aquarium
- Use appropriate water temperature per specie
- Feed with appropriate food according to its specie
What are the natural predators of a lobster?
Though lobsters have cannibalistic behavior, they also have natural predators in the wild. Atlantic codfish, haddock, seals, eels, wolffish, other lobsters, are some of the creatures ravaging lobsters and feasting on their meat. But the ultimate predator of lobsters are humans. We have been capturing lobster for a very long time, exploiting them to be a luxury food item.