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Lobster Facts

No, lobsters don't live forever — but they never stop growing!


Sink your claws into these lobster facts.

1. Lobsters never stop growing.

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Unlike humans, who grow until adulthood and pretty much plateau, lobsters keep growing for their entire lives. Each time they molt, they can increase 20 percent in size.


2. Lobsters don't age the way most animals do.

Aging as we know it is tied to telomeres, or protective tips on the ends of DNA inside animal cells. Each time a cell divides, its telomeres shorten, until eventually the cell can't divide anymore. But lobsters have a special enzyme that lengthens their telomeres, keeping them younger longer. How do we sign up for that?


3. But that doesn't mean they live forever.

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If they make it to old age without being eaten, lobsters often die shell-related deaths. Molting takes so much energy, it can kill older lobsters. If lobsters live long enough, they even stop molting altogether and can die of shell infection or even shell rot.


4. Lobsters can regenerate limbs — and sometimes this gets weird.

If a lobster is injured while molting, mixed biochemical signals can cause chaos and result in some creative healing, like "two thumbs sticking out of the same claw."


5. You can determine a lobster's age by counting the rings on its eyestalks.

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Who knew lobsters had this in common with trees? You can also count the rings on the gastric mill, or stomach teeth.


6. Yes, lobsters have stomach teeth.

How else are they going to grind up the hard animals they eat, like crabs and starfish?


7. Lobsters sometimes also eat each other.

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If they're crammed in a small space together, lobsters will turn cannibalistic. Ever wonder why their claws are rubber-banded in grocery store tanks? Now you know.


8. They make the worst ridesharing passengers.

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Baby smooth fan lobsters have a very one-sided relationship with moon jellies. They use the jellyfish as edible cars. We couldn't make this up if we tried.


9. Lobsters have a thing about pee.

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First of all, they pee out of their faces from the antennal glands under their eyes. Their pee can project seven body lengths. And they use it to communicate about everything, including mating and fighting.


10. When lobsters are babies, they can float — and they're called superlobsters.

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If there's room for an "Ant-Man" movie, we're ready for the "Superlobster" movie.

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