Study: Like a tree, growth rings show lobster age

Nov 30, 2012 by Clarke Canfield
In this July 2007 file photo a young lobster is seen on Friendship Long Island, Maine. Scientists have now figured out where the growth rings are to determine the age of a lobster. Researchers found that growth rings found in the eyestalk - a stalk with an eyeball on the end connected to the body of lobsters, crabs and shrimp. In lobsters and crabs, the rings are also found in teeth-like structures in their stomachs used to grind up food. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

Scientists have finally figured out how to determine the age of a lobster.

Raouf Kilada (row-OOF' kuh-LAH'-duh) of the University of New Brunswick presented his research Thursday at a lobster science conference in Portland, Maine.

Scientists already knew how to tell a fish's age by counting the growth rings found in its and a or clam's age from the rings of its shell.

But nobody knows how old lobsters can live to be. Some people estimate they live to over 100. Before now it was thought that when lobsters, shrimp and molt, they shed all parts of their bodies that might record annual growth bands.

Kilada and other researchers found that growth rings are found in a lobster's eyestalk and in teeth-like structures in their stomachs used to grind up food.

Explore further: 'Killer sperm' prevents mating between worm species

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Unusual orange lobster saved from the pot

Aug 06, 2010

What's unusual about this orange lobster? Its alive! Lobsters are usually a brownish-green colour when living and turn orange when they have been cooked. But a rare live reddish-orange coloured specimen has ...

Pressure prepares lobsters for long-distance delivery

Dec 06, 2011

Autumn is the prime season for catching lobsters in the cold waters off New England, and the red shellfish will soon find its way into many winter feasts, from office holiday parties to Christmas dinners and ...

Central American shrimp, lobster fast disappearing

Mar 12, 2010

Illegal fishing and climate change are decimating shrimp and lobster populations in Central America, threatening a two-billion-dollar industry and 136,000 jobs, regional experts said Thursday.

Recommended for you

'Killer sperm' prevents mating between worm species

15 hours ago

The classic definition of a biological species is the ability to breed within its group, and the inability to breed outside it. For instance, breeding a horse and a donkey may result in a live mule offspring, ...

Rare Sri Lankan leopards born in French zoo

18 hours ago

Two rare Sri Lankan leopard cubs have been born in a zoo in northern France, a boost for a sub-species that numbers only about 700 in the wild, the head of the facility said Tuesday.

Researcher reveals how amphibians crossed continents

20 hours ago

There are more than 7,000 known species of amphibians that can be found in nearly every type of ecosystem on six continents. But there have been few attempts to understand exactly when and how frogs, toads, ...

User comments : 0