Wild Fact #89 – Missing a Shell – Squat Lobster

Squat Lobster

Photo by Nhobgood (Wikipedia)

Cool Things About The Squat Lobster

  • While many lobsters only turn red once they are boiled, the Squat Lobster doesn’t need to be cooked in order to become red in the face
  • The arms of this particular lobster species will grow several times larger than their body. I guess it is sort of like a long-armed Gorilla but in the water and not a primate
  • The Squat Lobster is not afraid to be on the wrong side of the law. These little crustaceans are known to steal food from other sea animals including the dangerous Sea Anemones – pretty brave, if you ask me

A Whole Lot of Lobster

There are more than 900 species of Squat Lobster  and as such can be found scurrying along the ocean floor all across the planet. Actually, that isn’t true as there are a few different species that live entirely in the water column. You would think they would get tired of swimming but apparently that isn’t the case. While in the juvenile stage, these water column dwellers will often form dense swarms while chasing after delicious tasting plankton. If you are an East coaster, or anyone that enjoys surf and turf, then just the thought of a large swarm of lobsters may be enough to make you drool. Although in reality there are only a few commercial fisheries that are targeting the Squat Lobster. If you ever happen to see “Langostino Lobster” on the menu, you will know that you are about to consume a delectable Squat Lobster (and don’t forget to impress your friends by quoting some of the facts from this post :)).Squat Lobster

Not Your Average Lobster

Although the Squat Lobster looks somewhat similar to your standard lobster, they are missing one very important feature – a hard, protective shell. In fact, this lobster is more closely related to the hermit crab then your typical “true lobster”. So how do they protect themselves if they don’t have a shell? They will often hide in crevices or underneath rocks, exposing only their long arms and claws, which usually prevents any would-be attackers from trying anything funny. These long arms also allow the Squat Lobster to pick up plenty of fallen food while safely hiding underneath their protective fortress. I guess having arms several times the length of your body is actually a good thing.

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