|Conjoined lobster larvae|
The conjoined larvae seems to be conjoined on its back side only. Each “twin” has a full set of legs, which is four pairs of walking legs and a pair of claws. It looks like even more than the usual because larvae have extra appendages off their legs. It has two separate beating hearts. The intestinal tracts seem to function—you can see food in the right larva's intestine—though they seem to share stomachs (lobsters have 2 stomachs). These animals also share a set of eyes.
Interestingly, the larva seems to swim fine. In its holding tank, it swam around a bit before heading down to the bottom. Even with special care, an animal like this is never expected to live long. This animal died after a week or so.
This unique lobster hatched in the Aquarium's research lobster hatchery—the last year-round U.S. production facility for American lobsters. Our researchers are on the forefront of American lobster aquaculture research, investigating new and improved methods for raising lobsters in captive environments. Our scientists are investigating nutritional requirements and pigmentation in captive-reared American lobsters. They are also collaborating with fishermen and scientists to develop a greater understanding of Lobster Shell Disease.
|A juvenile lobster in the nursery in a lovely shade of orange|
Learn more about lobsters and their many shades of shell:
- Lobsters shed their shells periodically—watch a molt happen in pictures
- Aquarium scientist Michael Tlusty explains the colorful chemistry of lobster shells
- Meet a little lobster lost in the touch tank
- Don't forget about the Caribbean spiny lobsters!
- This is real: A bi-colored lobster split straight down the middle
- And here's a fancy calico lobster shell
- You'll never guess how lobsters communicate
- This big guy was spared the dinner plate and found a new home at the Aquarium
Now that you're all experts, come see traditional lobsters—with eight walking legs and a pair of power claws (one crusher and one pincer)! Plan a visit to the Aquarium! The Northern Waters gallery features several handsome adults scurrying around their cold-water exhibit. Look for wee juveniles in the lobster nursery at the Blue Planet Action Center. They're just tiny versions of the adults—complete with the unexpected colors!