A 16-pound Maine lobster has a new lease on life at the Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park in Dallas, Texas. The folks at LobsterAnywhere.com donated a 16-pound crustacean – and included free transportation from Boston, MA to Dallas, TX. LobsterAnywhere.com specializes in shipping live Maine lobsters, lobster tails, and fresh seafood to just about anywhere in the United States.The gift was especially appreciated by the nonprofit facility that often serves as a child’s’ first aquarium experience. LobsterAnywhere.com responded to aquarists’ inquiry about interesting Maine lobsters to feature in a special 550 gallon salt water tank at Children’s Aquarium. Do you have questions for Lucky the lobster? Here’s an interview with Lucky the Lobster:
Where did you come from?
I am from the icy, deep waters off the coast of the North Atlantic ocean. Specifically, I hail from Northern Grand Manan, New Brunswick Canada.
How did you earn your name: Lucky?
It just so happens I was named by a lobsteranywhere.com facebook fan! I was lucky to have a new lease on life at the children’s museum. It just so happens I arrived right in time for Saint Patrick’s Day, a big event in Dallas, TX! George, Rocky, Tiny Tim, Hoss, Steve, Big Red, J.R., Big Pappi (He’s the Boston’s Red Sox slugger.)were some other great suggestions.
Where is your new home?
My new home is the Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park, Dallas, TX. Housed in its original Art Deco building, the Aquarium is home to a varied collection of thousands of aquatic animals. The child-friendly design offers interactive exhibits for hands-on exploration, with a Coastal touch pool filled with horseshoe crabs, sea stars, sea urchins, anemones, and other creatures.
How big are you?
I am approximately 16 pounds and close to 2.5 feet long. I am eight times the size of the average lobster! To allow growth, a lobster must shed, or molt its shell. By splitting the back of its shell, the soft lobster is able to squeeze out of its shell, right down to its antennae tips. Because of its shell-less vulnerability, the lobster hides in a burrow, remaining there for 6-8 weeks until its new shell hardens. Between 20 and 30 molts take place before a lobster reaches the one-pound market size! According to Guinness World Records, the heaviest crustacean recorded was an American lobster caught off Nova Scotia, Canada. The lobster weighed 44.4 pounds with a total length 3.51 feet!
How old are you?
I really do not know. Unlike a tree or fish scale there are no growth rings on a lobster and each time it sheds it gets a new “fresh” shell. But you can guesstimate. Aquarium studies suggest a 1 pound lobster is about 5 to 7 years old. It takes lobsters an average of 5 to 7 years (depending on the water temperature) to grow to legal size (at this size they weigh about 1- 1 1/4 lb.) Lobsters grow more slowly as they get larger. Therefore a lobster that weighs 3 pounds is an estimated 15-20 years old, and a 25 pound lobster would be approximately 75-100 years old. Some say I could be close to 100 years old!
How did the lobstermen catch you?
Offer shore fishing boats travel to the Gulf of Maine and the outer Continental Shelf fishing for lobster. The lobstermen use special traps or pots. The difference is in the “ring size” which is the place where the lobsters enter the “parlor” in the trap.
What do you like to eat? Herring, shrimp, sea urchins, crabs, mussels, any fish flesh in general. I like to eat at night and hunt for my food. It was once thought that lobsters were scavengers and ate primarily dead things. I store my food by burying it on the bottom of the ocean and defend my area much like a dog!
The bigger the lobster, the stronger the claws. My claws are large–bigger than your hands and are extremely powerful in the grasping direction. The bigger of the two claws is the crusher claw and mine can crush your fingers flat. It is designed to crush the shells of clams, crabs, mussels and other prey. I am left handed. Lobsters that have their heavy (“crusher”) claw on the left side are considered “left-handed”. During lobster to lobster combat, two lobsters sometimes will grab each others crusher claw and have a showdown of muscle and shell strength.The smaller claw is the pincher claw, also called the cutter or ripper. The pincher claw has a fast-acting muscle tissue useful for grabbing prey quickly. Most people fear the crusher claw, but you’ll get a nastier wound from the pincer claw if it latches onto soft tissue. Thick rubber bands are also used to restrain these claws. But in my case lobstermen will often use electrical tape since the normal bands are not big enough.
Are you in danger of being overfished?
Overfishing is not a issue as lobster fishery is very sustainable. Threats are Pollution and Pesticides. Case in point Long Island Sound. The North Atlantic Lobster industry together with US and Canadian Fisheries agencies have had laws and regulations in place for many years to ensure the future of both the Fishery and the Lobstermen. These regulations have proven successful and in a large part are responsible for the overall health of the fishery. LobsterAnywhere is dedicated to the sustainability of lobster populations and educating the public about the lobster industry.
If you are in the Dallas area, please be sure to visit Lucky!
Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park, 1462 First Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75210
If you have more questions for Lucky, just ask!