Where Does A Lobster Live?

Did you ever look at a lobster swimming around in the little fish tank at a restaurant and wonder where he lived before he was caught? You may remember he lived in the ocean, but did you realize that most lobsters live in only the coastal regions around the world. Once considered unfit to eat, lobsters have risen in such popularity in the last few decades that fishermen can hardly capture enough of them to meet demand.
Right after he's born, a very tiny lobster looks nothing like an adult lobster and has a 1/1000 chance of surviving to adulthood. During the first 15 days of his life, he lives in the top three feet of water in the ocean and is extremely vulnerable to predators. During this period he molts three times before moving into the fourth stage as a miniature adult.
During the fourth stage the lobster swims very well and looks for a permanent place to live on the ocean floor. He may choose a home in a softer habitat, such as the salt marsh peat around Cape Cod, but most generally he'll choose a harder spot, such as an area with a cobble (small rocks) bottom.
The cobble provides many hiding spots where he can just lay around and let food come drifting down to him. The coast of Maine is particularly ideal for this purpose, because the water is clean and cold with a rocky bottom.
Shortly after he molts for his fifth time, he moves to the new location he has found on the ocean bottom. For the first year or so in his new residence, he remains hidden in his tunnel or crevice so that his predators can't find him. As he gets a little larger, say after his first year there, he begins to hide in the kelp and search for food. He'll continue to do this for another three years.
Small lobsters seldom come out in the open. If our lobster were to swim out into the ocean at this point in his life, he'd be eaten by fish within minutes. Only when he gets larger will he move to an area with larger rocks. He may also choose to live in sandy or muddy areas between the shoreline and the edge of the continental shelf. Being a loner, he lives by himself in a crevice or burrow under rocks.
No matter where a lobster lives, there are sure to be fishermen after him. If he manages to evade natural predators and fishermen, however, he can live a very long life. During colonial times when lobsters were abundant, there are reports that some of the lobsters were five or six feet long.
Lobsters don't get the chance to grow as large in this era of modern fishing techniques. The biggest one on record was caught in 1977 just off the coast of Nova Scotia. It measured in at somewhere between three and four feet, and it weighed a mighty 44 pounds, 6 ounces. It was estimated that he was around 100 years old. How about that!

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About The Author, Sherry Shantel
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