Lobster Briana Gilman

Lobsters in the oceans ecosystem wouldn't seem so complicated looking at the image below, but they actually are very complex. They are made up of many different, essential body parts and systems that help the lobster survive and function in the ocean.

Outside Body of a lobster

A Lobsters body structure is made up of many key components with different individual purposes. These body parts are...

Antennas- There are three different pairs of antennas on a lobster, all used for sensory reception. They have one large set and two small sets of antennas, located on the front of the body. The large antennas are normally constant moving and are mainly used as a navigating tool to find there way around the ocean floor. The two sets of small antennas are used for sensing "chemical signals in the water", and allow them locate food, and avoid predators (by sensing their odors).

These images both show the antennas that lobsters have.

Eyes- Their eyes are used for vision, but don't see well at all. They can't see color or a clear image, but can see shadows and detect movement.

Chelipeds (claws)- Used for catching prey, and crushing food. They have two different " big claws". One for crushing (which is a sharper, bigger claw), and a another for tearing apart there prey (which is less sharp, and slightly smaller).

Pereiopods- Used for walking legs

Cephalothorax- lobsters head and thorax

Rostrum- looks like a nose on the lobster but serves as protection to their eyes.

Abdomen-

Telson- segment in the middle of the tail

Uropods- the segments on the side of the telson (spread tail)

Anus-

Swimmerets (or pleopods)

Mouth- Maxillipeds an Mandibles are used for helping eat. They act as the teeth for the mouth.

Inside a typical lobster...

The complexity of a lobster extends on, because of the many complex, internal systems it has. The image above shows a labeled male and female lobster internally. Like humans lobsters have many common systems in their body like a brain, heart, intestines, and testicles for the male and ovaries for the female. Lobsters have respiratory systems, digestive systems, and reproductive systems.

The reproductive system

The reproductive system with lobsters is very complex. They are sexual reproductive animals and under go a long process to reproduce offspring. First in order to mate the female lobster has to molt, which is the female shedding a layer of shell. The female will then release chemicals called pheromones, to alert male lobsters a women wants to mate. Many men are alerted and have to fight for the female lobster. Whoever wins the fight is in charge of protecting the female while she undergoes the process of molting. When she has finished the process, the male will flip over the female and pierce her abdomen with his first set of pleodods. While he pierces her he drops sperm packets into her sperm receptacles. The female will then hold this sperm for up to 15 months until she releases her eggs. When the female wants to start reproducing she releases the eggs which pass by the seminal receptacle and are fertilized with the stored sperm. From here she will attach from 5,000-100,000 eggs under her tail with a sticky, glue-like substance, which she will hold there for up to 11 months. Female lobsters carrying around these eggs look like they have small berries on there underneath and are refereed to as "berried lobsters" while being pregnant.

"Berried lobster"

Where can you find lobsters? What do they feed on?

Lobsters live at the bottom of the ocean floor in the Benthic zone. They primarily diet on fish, crabs, clams, sea stars, sea urchins, and are known as "opportunists" feeding on whatever they can find! These animals fall into the 1st level carnivorous consumers category, and do well for themselves.

Predators to the lobster

When lobsters are young they are in more danger than an adult lobster. Young lobsters are hunted by many different kinds of fish like cod, tench, flounder, sculpin, wolffish, ocean pout, monkfish, and dogfish. As they get older, and bigger, they stand there ground more and only have one main predator, man.

Lobster Nursery at the New England Boston Aquarium

Lobster status

With lobsters being scavengers on the ocean floor, and having an abundant amount of food they almost never go hungry. They also don't have much threat as adults either. Knowing these two important facts, it backs up the statement that there is an abundant amount of lobsters, but there are also some predictions that by 2100 lobsters will have trouble surviving. This isn't due to predators, and humans hunting them for food, its primarily because of global warming.

Lobster Importance

Lobsters are very important animals in our world all over. They serve different purposes, but are important to our community for economic purposes, spiritual purposes, and lastly the importance of keeping a balanced food chain, and not disrupting the animal kingdom.

Economic- In our economy lobsters have high demand in higher end restaurants, and are seen as expensive meals. Spiny and true lobsters are on high demand for food. The process starts when men are hired to get these lobster, then sell them to people who want them for food or to sell again to restaurants. From here they are cooked and sold for higher pricing then they are bought for, and it continues in an ongoing cycle.

Cooked lobster

Spiritual- The lobster is an astrology sign that many people embrace, follow, and believe in. With it's soft inside, and hard outside, people born into this astrology sign feel close with the sign of the lobster. It symbolizes love, compassion, intellect, and many more strong admirable characteristics. People use their signs as hopeful, pathways of guidance and use the lobster as a sign of hope for a good life.

cancer; lobster astrology sign

Balanced food chain- Lobsters, like all animals, serve an importance for the impact they have on the food chain. Lobsters becoming extinct would mean a less cleaner ocean floor, and an uncontrollable amount of the fish and shells they normally consume. Our ecosystems are made up of balanced chains and with the elimination it would result in chaos.

Ocean food chain

Adaptations to the enviroment

Overtime lobsters have developed strategies to help them adapt and survive in their environment. When lobsters loose limbs they can actually grow them back when they undergo the process of molting. This process is the shedding of many exoskeleton layers. This is very helpful for a lobsters defense and being able to eat in general, because there limbs are so important to their everyday life. Lobsters live in the benthic zone where there is very little light access. In this case they have adapted there eye sight for low light environments, so they are able to hunt easier at night, by being able to detect movement. Overtime lobsters have made there sense of smell stronger, because if they can't see very well they need to know what's around them in other ways. They did this by adapting with their antennas, so that they are covered in little hairs that will send signals to the lobster, as a sense of smelling prey or predators around them. Lastly, another distinguishing adaptations is the pair of big claws they have in the front. From a distance you would see not much difference between the two, but in reality one is larger than the other. This larger one, contains more" teeth" that the other claw, and is know as the "crusher", used to grab,crush, and hold there prey. Lobsters also have developed a pair of claws that are distinct to one another. The "smaller one" has less "teeth" but sharper edges that the lobster uses to cut open its prey.

Work cited

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Briana Gilman
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