Halloween Lobster
October 31, 2012 9:14 PM   Subscribe

The New England Aquarium welcomes an unusual new guest, just in time for Halloween. Last week in Massachusetts, lobster fisher Dana Duhaine caught the lobster, which is perfectly "split" down the middle in two colours: black and orange. Scientists attribute this type of colouring to a complete cellular split that happens upon fertilization of the lobster egg. Split lobsters are relatively rare; they are estimated to make up only one per every 50 to 100 million lobsters. Recently, American and Canadian lobster fishers have been reporting more of the unusually coloured creatures in their catches, including blue lobsters, calico lobsters, and splits. National Geographic article about different colouration in lobsters.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl (27 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Black and white cookie lobster! I can see Jerry Seinfeld mugging an old lady for the last one.
posted by arcticseal at 9:23 PM on October 31, 2012


NBD, it's just celebrating the Giants World Series win.
posted by mollymayhem at 9:23 PM on October 31, 2012 [6 favorites]


That's some music they've got in that video! Reminds you of the solemn march of countless aeons as the poor creature vainly wriggles on a polystyrene supermarket tray. And so we all one day will wriggle, our bicolored claws upraised in a timeless display of territorial dominance and gradual suffocation.
posted by Nomyte at 9:31 PM on October 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


Made me think of Titus Tidewater.
posted by Naiad at 9:54 PM on October 31, 2012


Excellent news! One of the items on my bucket list is to enjoy an unusually colored lobster for dinner.
posted by halogen at 12:15 AM on November 1, 2012


surely you jest.
posted by eddydamascene at 12:19 AM on November 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


That lobster and my cat should be best pals! She's also split down the middle (face/paws) black and orange. Wonder if it's at all a related phenomenon.
posted by ilana at 12:30 AM on November 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


I will name him Pinchy and he shall be mine.

or Harvey.
posted by littlesq at 1:27 AM on November 1, 2012


Do you think the lobster knows that it is different colors on each side? If so, I could see that being beneficial for both hiding and mating. If not, its life is a series of happy accidents (well, for as long as it all works out).
posted by iamkimiam at 1:35 AM on November 1, 2012


Did you know lobsters communicate by peeing in each other's faces?

TMI!
posted by chavenet at 3:30 AM on November 1, 2012


Do you think the lobster knows that it is different colors on each side? If so, I could see that being beneficial for both hiding and mating. If not, its life is a series of happy accidents (well, for as long as it all works out).

It seems that the main evolutionary benefit of odd coloration in lobsters is that you aren't eaten by man.

Or as one of the links puts it, Rare Calico Lobster Turns Heads, And Escapes Dinner Menu
posted by chavenet at 3:32 AM on November 1, 2012


It seems that the main evolutionary benefit of odd coloration in lobsters is that you aren't eaten by man.

They thought that "being enormous underwater bugs with claws and eyestalks" would do it, but no.
posted by DU at 4:17 AM on November 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


I think that just makes them all the more appealing.
posted by iamkimiam at 4:28 AM on November 1, 2012


ilana, looks like your cat might be a chimera!
posted by phl at 4:46 AM on November 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


It is actually the sole survivor of internecine warfare between its people and lobsters with an opposite black-orange colorscheme.
posted by Renoroc at 4:55 AM on November 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


Gorgeous. And clearly a Giants fan!
posted by rtha at 5:48 AM on November 1, 2012


This is so cool! I love this stuff.
posted by sc114 at 6:20 AM on November 1, 2012


It seems that the main evolutionary benefit of odd coloration in lobsters is that you aren't eaten by man.

Then a woman eats you! There is always a catch in the prophecies! Jerks.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:27 AM on November 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


I will name him Pinchy and he shall be mine.

I read somewhere else that the fisherman who caught this lobster and donated it to the aquarium did name it Pinchy which I thought was kind of cool. You know who else would have thought it was cool? Pinchy.

Anyway...in case anyone is interested here are some pictures of an early morning last spring, when fundip's sister and her husband took me lobster fishing.
posted by Flashman at 8:35 AM on November 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anyway...in case anyone is interested here are some pictures of an early morning last spring, when fundip's sister and her husband took me lobster fishing.

Wow, the Dawn Treader seemed so much bigger in the book.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:43 AM on November 1, 2012


phl, I think she might be! I didn't realize there was a name for that; thanks.
posted by ilana at 10:16 AM on November 1, 2012


Those are great pictures, Flashman!

(This one isn't a lobster, but it is my favourite of the set.)

Ha ha Bulgaroktonos, that was my first thought too.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:23 AM on November 1, 2012


ilana, it's not just a name for the colouring - a genetic chimera is an organism "composed of two or more different populations of genetically distinct cells that originated from different zygotes". In other words parts of your cat are the rest of your cat's non-identical twin sibling.

Could be wrong, but she certainly looks a lot like Venus, the internet's favourite two-faced chimera cat.
posted by phl at 10:36 AM on November 1, 2012


Phantom of the Lobsta: 1, 2, 3
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:33 AM on November 1, 2012


The best consequence of chimerism occurs when the chimeric DNA ends up being the DNA that creates your zygotes. Then you give birth to your siblings' children, or inseminate others with your siblings' DNA!
posted by ChuraChura at 12:17 PM on November 1, 2012


Those are great pictures

Thanks very much. I was lucky to get to go out with them, and lucky too that it was such a calm, clear morning.
posted by Flashman at 2:13 PM on November 1, 2012


chavenet: ">Did you know lobsters communicate by peeing in each other's faces?

TMI!
"

You don't want to know about goats (or porcupines, apparently).
posted by Lexica at 9:58 PM on November 1, 2012


« Older Why an airline that travelers love is failing. Vi...  |  "swiss cheese dirt moto3 bruce... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments