How Long Do Lobsters Live (And Why)?

Exact Answer: More Than 100 Years

It is quite interesting to learn about the life of various creatures. Among everything, what the scientists pay most attention to is the living period of the creatures.

Scientists do a lot of research and studies to know about the lifespan of various organisms. Lobsters are one of those creatures about which there are many sayings and myths, on which research has been performed.

For example, some people believe that lobsters are immortal. You must have seen lobsters at some place or other. If you have been to beaches, you must have seen many of them at once because they live in the waters.

How Long Do Lobsters Live?

Living ConditionsLife Span
Easy135 To 140 Years
Difficult100 Years

There has been a lot of discussion and debate about the living period or lifespan of lobsters. One thing that is for sure is that they have a reputation for living a long time. It is believed that lobsters can live even more than 100 years.

Only a few people are aware that the world’s oldest lobster was found to be around 135 to 140 years old. This was not the only time when a lobster this old was seen. In another incident, it happened that a lobster of more than 115 years was discovered in New York in 2017. It was found after spending around 18 years in a seafood restaurant.

When the lobsters begin to grow, they get bigger. Along with getting bigger, then start getting very much heavy as well. The lobster, which was found to be 135 to 140 years old, turned out to be more than 42 pounds.

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The most interesting part is that the weight of these lobsters is much more as compared to their sizes and age. It happened once that a lobster was found by a fisherman and it was around 28 pounds. What shocked the people was that it was very small in size just like a toddler lobster.

Many people even believe that lobsters can’t die and they are immortal. They believe that a lobster can only die when people caught them or ate them as their food. This was primarily because of the long life they have. But, this is completely wrong. The truth is that though a lobster has a long life span, it does die like other normal creatures.

Why Do Lobsters Live That Long?

In most organisms, it generally happens that the supply of a certain enzyme is responsible for that creature looking youthful or old. That enzyme is called telomerase. Lobsters on the other hand live a long life, and at the same time appear young. This is because lobsters don’t have to worry much about the supply of telomerase enzymes.

This is because they have an endless supply of telomerase enzymes which helps in keeping the telomeres in their body repairing. They can generate a large amount of this enzyme in their youth in all of their cells. This further helps them be young all their life.

But, it is not that lobsters are very special in this case as other species have the telomerase enzymes as well. Even humans have enzymes present in their bodies, but, once the embryonic stage is over, the level of telomerase decreases. After this, the quantity of that enzyme is not enough to rebuild telomeres constantly.

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After having a long life, there comes the point where the lobsters die out of exhaustion. This happens because they become very large, but the size of their shells remains the same. So, there arises a need for them to discard their small shells and create for themselves an exoskeleton from time to time.

With time, the level of energy needed for the lobsters to leave their shells and create an exoskeleton becomes too much. After a time they are not able to have that much energy and die of cell collapse or exhaustion.

Conclusion

It can be quite confusing for a layman to know the reasons for the very long or very short life span of different creatures or organisms. But, scientists have done a lot of research to get the answers to such questions that are complex and interesting at the same time. When it comes to a lobster, it has a very long lifespan.

They can create the telomerase enzymes to keep themselves young. This is the main reason why they live this much and still look young as compared to other creatures. But no creature on earth is immortal, and hence the lobsters die as well after having a long and youthful life.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0022098183900795
  2. https://www.jstor.org/stable/40296054
  3. https://www.cefas.co.uk/publications/lableaflets/lableaflet66rev.pdf
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