Thursday, March 19, 2015

Meme-tastic Lobster!

Have you seen this lobster? This young fellow is an American lobster (Homarus americanus) who made the rounds on the internet a couple years ago, accompanied by lots of snarky captions. 

Reddit superstar

For example, here's a humorous thread on Reddit. OK, hold the eye rolls.
  • He's the best writer we can get in a pinch!
  • He overseas the whole department
  • He's pretty crabby about deadlines though
  • And I hear he's shellfish about giving out bonuses.
  • Tough crab, they didnt check the special claws in the employment contract.
  • He never takes the elevator with anyone, he's kinda clawstrophobic. 

What you may not know is this guy got his start right here at the New England Aquarium's Lobster Research Lab. Aquarium scientists investigate nutritional requirements and lobster shell disease.  As part of this research, they raise baby lobsters right here on Central Wharf.

Lobsters at lots of different ages call the Aquarium home. This fellow is probably around 2 years old. 

You might have seen some of these babies in our lobster nursery in the Blue Planet Action Center
Others live in our Prescott Laboratory, where scientists examine what factors might predispose lobsters to getting shell disease. Shell disease is caused by bacteria that settle on a lobster’s shell. The bacteria eat away the shell, resulting in thin areas called lesions. Although the disease is not usually lethal, the unattractive appearance of the animal makes it unsuitable to market and thus has an impact on the lobster fishery. Learn more about this research here.

Here's the lobster from a different angle, snapped on the lab's camera.

And if this meme ever resurfaces, you'll know where this wee lobster got its start—the New England Aquarium Lobster Research Laboratory, where it is helping researchers understand threats to lobsters and how we can help them!

There's lots more to learn about lobsters. Check out these awesome crustacean posts:

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