That Lobster is How Old?!

Monday, December 10, 2012 by Rachelle Pinault

How big was the largest lobster you have ever seen? Did you wonder how old it might be? I have seen a 27pound lobster, and he was estimated to be about 50 years old! Up until now, scientists could only estimate a lobster’s age by its size, which has not been a very precise method.

On Thursday November 29th at a scientific conference in Portland, Maine, Raouf Kilada, a research associate from the University of New Brunswick, announced that he and five other scientists discovered a way to accurately age a lobster!! It may sound very strange, but the proof is in the lobster’s eyes!!

Lobsters have eyestalks. An eyestalk is like a rod that is connected to the lobster’s body at one end and has an eyeball at the other end. The scientists discovered that there are growth rings within the eyestalks that can be counted to determine the lobster’s age! This process is a little like aging a tree by counting the rings in the trunk!

This is a very important discovery that will allow scientists to better assess lobster populations, and determine exactly how old a lobster can live to be. Some scientists believe they can live for well over 100 years! Stay tuned... we may have the answer soon…

If you would like to read more, here is a link to one news article about this story:

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