Slipper Lobsters!


Hey everyone! Ocean conservation and marine
life expert Jaclyn Friedlander here and today we are going to talk about the slipper lobster. Slipper lobsters are not true lobsters because
they don’t have pinchers. They don’t really have a good defense mechanism at all, but
they survive against natural predators by using camouflage to hide. When they are caught,
it’s mostly by wrasse, grouper, triggerfish and sometimes octopus. Because they are slow
and harmless, it’s easy for humans to catch them, and they are overfished in most areas. These funky looking creatures range in size
from about an inch to twenty inches. They have two sets of antenna. The first set looks
like antenna and the other set is actually this flat plate on the front of the animal. They have very hard exoskeletons that are
basically an armored shell. For several days before they molt, or shed their skin to grow,
their exoskeleton gets softer and softer to make molting easier. I saw one for the first
time at an aquarium and one of the aquarists told me that sometimes when these creatures
molt, they don’t always get out of their old skin in one piece. One of the slipper lobsters
at the aquarium was missing a few legs that were lost during the molting process. I was
told these legs would regenerate, or grow back, but that it would take a very, very
long time. They are found in the Mediterranean Sea and
a few parts of the Atlantic Ocean. Between the months of July and August the
female will carry up to 100,000 eggs that develop on the outside of her abdomen. After
about 16 days of development, the eggs will be released into the water and from there
they must survive on their own. If you had to be a lobster, would you want
to be this cool looking slipper lobster or would you want to be a lobster with claws?
Leave your answers in the comments below. If you want weekly ocean and conservation
information, click subscribe. See you next Friends with Fins Friday! Thanks for watching.

9 Comments

  • I cannot choose which I would rather be yet… Do they camouflage themselves with awesome Camo powers, like a chameleon? Or do they pick up stuff to help them hide like a decorator crab?

  • Both lobsters are going to eventually get eaten alive by something….so I'd choose to not be born.

  • "They don't have a good defense mechanism" – Their armor is a better defense than claws, by a long way! See: Barshaw DE, Lavalli KL, Spanier E. 2003. Offense versus defense: responses of three morphological types of lobsters to predation. Marine Ecology Progress Series 256: 171-182.

    "Found in the Mediterranean Sea and a few parts of the Atlantic Ocean" – Pacific, too. Ibacus species are fished off Australia all the time, and sold commercially as Balmain bugs or Moreton Bay bugs.

  • they are so ugly and creepy lookin

  • I'd raher be a funky lookin' Face-Hugger than a Monster with Claws.

  • I'd rather be a lobster with claws

  • Stir fried with chopped garlic and chilies.

  • Also found in the Arabian/Persian Gulf.

  • This type of lobster is far mor delicious than the average lobster. I love them, here in the Virgin Islands I get them all the time.

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