Quick Recipes and Easy

Blue Lobsters Are Real!

Most live american lobsters are naturally colored an olive
green or mottled dark greenish brown. In rare cases,
lobsters come in shades of bright blue, white (albino),
yellow, black, and red have been reported from time to time.
Perhaps the most unusual colors are the “half-and-half”
lobsters with a line straight down their backs where the two
colors meet.

The major pigment in a lobster’s shell, astaxanthin, is
really bright red in its free state; but in the lobster’s shell
astaxanthin is chemically bound to proteins that change it to
a greenish color. When lobsters are cooked, heat breaks
down these bonds, freeing the astaxanthin so that it reverts
to its normal red color.

So how does a lobster turn bright blue?

A genetic defect has been found that causes a blue lobster
to produce an excessive amount of protein. The protein
wraps around a small, red carotenoid molecule known as
as astaxanthin. The two push together, forming a blue
complex known as crustacyanin which often gives the
lobster shell a bright blue color. About one in a million
lobsters are blue, but when cooked, it turns red like the
other lobsters.

It has been suggested that more than ‘one in a million’
lobsters born are blue, but many do not survive because
their bright blue shell brings too much attention to
themselves, making them a prime target for predators.
Scientists also believe that blue lobsters tend to be more
aggressive than their normal colored counterparts. Since
they don’t easily blend in, they have adapted and changed to
be more aggressive to protect themselves.

The blue lobster is truly another gift from Mother Nature that
most people never see. Many professional lobstermen go
through their whole lobstering career without catching or
even seeing a blue lobster. Those that do have the privilege
of catching one, are amazed and excited as it is seen as a
once-in-a-lifetime event and feel a sense of awe when they
experience seeing the strikingly gorgeous blue lobster for the
first time. Those that are caught are not normally eaten, but
rather given to aquariums and educational institutions and
kept on show in tanks for others to admire.

Taxonomy of Homarus americanus:

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Crustacea
Order: Decapoda
Suborder: Macrura reptantia
Family: Nephrodidae
Genus: Homarus
Species: americanus

This article courtesy of

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