Spiny lobsters confront one another over territory
Spiny lobsters confront one another over territory
George Grall/National Geographic Image Collection
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Le Homard
Le Homard
Lane, I
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Definition:
Lobster, a shellfish
marine crustacean with five pairs of jointed legs, the first bearing large pincerlike claws of unequal size adapted to crushing the shells of its prey. The segmented body of the lobster consists of a large cephalothorax (made up of 14 segments) and a moveable, muscular abdomen (composed of 7 segments). It is covered with a chitinous exoskeleton that is dark green in the living animal and bright red when boiled. Valued for its succulent meat, is most economical when purchased live. It is also available already cooked, cleaned and shelled.


Lobster Facts:
As the lobster grows, the exoskeleton is periodically molted and a new, larger one is formed in its place. Lobsters have 20 pairs of gills attached to the bases of the legs and to the sides of the body; the gills are protected by the carapace, the large area of the exoskeleton covering the back and sides of the cephalothorax. In addition to the legs, the appendages consist of 2 paired antennae, 6 pairs of mouth parts, and the small swimmerets attached to the abdominal segments. In the female the eggs remain attached to the swimmerets for 10 or 11 months until they hatch into free-swimming larvae. The larvae swim for about a year, molting between 14 and 17 times before they settle to the bottom and begin to take on adult characteristics. Lobsters crawl briskly over the ocean floor and swim backward with great speed by scooping motions of the muscular abdomen and tail, but are clumsy on land. They are scavengers but also prey on shellfish and may even attack live fish and large gastropods. Over a period of five years they grow to an average weight of 3 lb (1.4 kg). The common American lobster, Homarus americanus, is found inshore in summer and in deeper waters in winter from Labrador to North Carolina, but especially along the New England coast, where the chief lobster fisheries are located. Lobsters are caught in slatted wooden traps, or “pots,” baited with dead fish. In Europe a species of Homarus similar to the American is found, but the smaller Norway lobster is the chief seafood variety. The spiny, or rock, lobsters, found in warm seas of both hemispheres, are actually marine crayfish (genus Panulirus ); they lack claws but have sharp spines on the carapace. The stout-bodied, sometimes brightly colored squat lobsters are close relatives of the hermit crab; their broad abdomens are usually tucked under their bodies, as in crabs, but can be extended and used for backward swimming, as in the true lobsters. Lobsters are protected by law and are raised by several hatcheries on the New England coast; nevertheless, they are still in danger of extinction.

Lobster in the News - Fantastic Lobster Information.


POEM:
The Lobster Quadrille
"Will you walk a little faster?" said a whiting to a snail.
"There's a porpoise close behind us, and he's treading on my tail.  See how eagerly the lobsters and the turtles all advance!
They are waiting on the shingle - will you come and join the dance?    Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, will you join the dance?    Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, won't you join the dance?  "You can really have no notion how delightful it will be  When they take us up and throw us, with the lobsters, out to sea!"  But the snail replied "Too far, too far!" and gave a look askance -  Said he thanked the whiting kindly, but he would not join the dance.  Would not, could not, would not, could not, would not join the dance.  Would not, could not, would not, could not, could not join the dance.
"What matters it how far we go?" his scaly friend replied.
"There is another shore, you know, upon the other side.
The further off from England the nearer is to France -
Then turn not pale, beloved snail, but come and join the dance.
  Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, will you join the dance?  Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, won't you join the dance?"
by-- Lewis Carroll


To clean and crack a cooked lobster:
With a large, sharp knife, cut the lobster in half lengthwise. Pull out and discard the black vein, as well as the small sand sac at the base of the head. Remove the white meat from the shell. Pull out the tail meat. Twist off the claws, then break the shell to extract the claw meat.For other shellfish varieties, see clams, crabs, mussels, oysters, scallops, and shrimp.


HOW TO EAT A LOBSTER
Twist off the "arms" of the lobster and break off the claws. Bend the "thumb" of each claw down until it cracks. Using a lobster cracker, break the claw shells and gently extract the meat with a small fork.
Crack the "arms" and extract the meat with the fork.
Using your hands, break the lobster in half at the point where the body meets the tail. The tomalley, the soft green part in the body, is good to eat, and you can easily spoon it out. You can also eat the bright red roe, if any, at the body-end of the tail.
Using your hands, squeeze the sides of the tail together so that the underside cracks. With the underside facing you, and one hand on each side of the shell, press open the tail exposing the meat; extract it with the fork.
There is a little meat in the legs. If you like, twist them off, break them in half, and suck out the meat.



LOBSTER RECIPES


LOBSTER
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FISH JOKES
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What do you get if you cross a trout with an apartment?
A flat fish!

What do you call a dangerous fish who drinks too much?
A beer-a-cuda!

Who has eight guns and terrorises the ocean?
Billy the Squid!

What happened to the cold jellyfish?
It set!

What's the coldest fish in the sea?
A blue whale!

What did the sardine call the submarine?
A can of people!

What's the difference between a fish and a piano?
You can't tuna fish!

Why are sardines the stupidest fish in the sea?
Because they climb into tins, close the lid and leave teh key outside!

How do the fish get to school?
By octobus!

Why did the lobster blush?
Because the sea weed!


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Why did the lobster blush?
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When I take a stick of butter out of its carton, I go ahead and cut slits completely through the butter at each tablespoon mark. When a recipe calls for butter, I just break off the number of tablespoons needed and remove the wrapping. It's fast, and I don't have to dirty up a knife every time I measure butter.




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