Nov 27, 2015

Immortal Lobster Myth

Photos of lobsters can be found at many sites on the net with captions calling the crustaceans biologically immortal. A 2007 news story that reported that lobsters do not show typical signs of senescence, the process of growing older. The report said that lobsters do not age the way other living creatures do, because they do not lower their reproductive ability, slow their metabolism, or decrease in strength.

It is true that lobsters continue reproducing, and growing until the end. Like most decapod crustaceans, which also include crayfish and shrimp, they have indeterminate growth. That means they do not reach a set size limit in their lifetimes, continuing to grow until they die. Previous research has suggested that the biggest European lobster males in the wild live an average of 31 years, and the females an average of 54 years.

According to the Animal Aging and Longevity Database, other organisms with negligible aging includes: Rougheye rockfish  – 205 years, Painted turtle – 61 years, Blanding's turtle – 77 years, Eastern box turtle – 138 years, and Red sea urchin – 200 years, among others.