Friday, June 22, 2012

California spiny lobster, Panulirus interruptus, molting

California spiny lobster, Panulirus interruptus, It appears to be spiny lobster molting season.  There were empty lobster shells all over the beach.  It is really amazing that they can pop open their shells and just crawl out, given all the flippers, feet and antenna. 

The lobster molts by struggling out of their old shells while simultaneously absorbing water which expands their body size. This molting, or shell-shedding, occurs about 25 times in the first 5-7 years of life. Following this cycle, the lobster will weigh approximately one pound and reach minimum legal size. A lobster at minimum legal size may then only molt once per year and increase about 15% in length and 40% in weight per year. either way, it's amazing they can get back out of there.

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