Switch to Desktop Site
 
 

How large can lobsters grow? Big! But no one knows how big.

Lobsters can grow to be four feet long, 40 pounds, and maybe 100 years old – maybe even more.

Image

In this June 1 photo Skipper Landon Shand, left, and crewmember Lorne Pace show off a 23 lb. male lobster they caught on their final run of the closing day of Southwestern Nova Scotia's lobster season in Yarmouth, N.S.

Brian Medel-Halifax Chronicle-Herald/The Canadian Press/AP

About these ads

With New England diving into lobster season, seafood lovers across the country will don their bibs, grab some lemon wedges, and dine on nice one-pound crustaceans.

Most lobsters in supermarkets and restaurants fall in the one- to two-pound range. American law requires fishermen to toss back anything smaller. But lobsters can get bigger – much bigger.

In 2006, a diver caught a 12-pound, 20-inch lobster off the coast of San Diego. In 2008, a Canadian crew snagged a 20-pounder. Yet both of those were pipsqueaks compared with the late king of crustaceans. The Guinness World Record went to a 44.3-pound lobster found in 1977 near Nova Scotia. Guinness didn't note its length, but the US Navy once measured a similarly hefty lobster at four feet long.

These clawed colossi aren't freaks or flukes, explains Jelle Atema, a professor of biology at Boston University. They're just very old.

Lobsters, he says, seem to never stop growing. Their crustacean cousins, crabs, reach a point at which the carapace (the outer shell) simply will not grow any larger. But nature never hemmed in lobsters.

Next

Page:   1   |   2   |   3

Share