“Very lucky 11 lb spiny lobster new home Monterey Bay Aquarium”

Spiny lobsters are found in almost all warm seas, including the Caribbean and the Mediterranean Sea. The fossil record of spiny lobsters has been extended by the discovery in 1995 of a 110 million year-old fossil near El Espiñal in Chiapas, Mexico.

In March 2009, Monterey Bay Aquarium member Tom Powers caught a huge, 11-pound California spiny lobster off the Channel Islands near Ventura, California. The largest one on record was over 1 meter (3 ft 3 in) long and weighed over 11.8 kilograms (26 lb).

spiny lobster gift

Instead of eating it, Tom donated the lobster estimated to be more than 50 years old to the Aquarium. Since then the animal has been on display in the Enchanted Kelp Forest section of the Splash Zone exhibit.

In January 2010, the lobster started to molt, (shed its outer exoskeleton so it can continue to grow. The Aquarium staff took the lobster to a special observation tank where it could be carefully watched. Within two days, the lobster had surrendered its outer covering and was wearing a new outer body. Amazingly, it also regrew a missing antenna and claw during the molting process.

Although a little lighter in weight now, the prized lobster is healthy and happy back on exhibit.

Resources
Excerpts
and Image courtesy of  http://montereybayaquarium.typepad.com
Excerpts courtesy of   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiny_lobster

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