American Lobster

Homarus americanus

About This Animal

SIZE: Up to 3 feet long; can weigh up to 40 pounds or more

RANGE: Northwest Atlantic Ocean, from Canada through North Carolina

HABITAT: Rocky ocean floor, most common at depths of 130 feet or less

DIET: Fishes, crabs, clams, mussels, sea urchins and sea stars

ON EXHIBIT: Boneless Beauties in Ocean Journey

Lobsters only turn bright red after they've been cooked for dinner. In the wild, lobsters are a blend of brown, green and red, with occasional blue or white color patterns. Lobsters are able to detach their legs or claws by a process called autotonomy. This "self-amputation" can help a lobster to escape a predator's grasp. A lobster may also detach a claw if it is unable to withdraw from its old shell during molting. Lost limbs can be regenerated. After the next molt they appear fully formed but smaller than usual, and after several molts they are full sized.

American lobsters are not considered threatened, but protecting their populations requires good management of commercial fisheries.