Lobstermen Hauling In More Colorful Catch

When a 100-pound shipment of lobsters arrived at Bill Sarro’s seafood shop and restaurant last month, it contained a surprise — six orange crustaceans that have been said to be a 1-in-10-million oddity.

Reports of odd-colored lobsters used to be rare in the lobster fishing grounds of New England and Atlantic Canada. Normal lobsters are a mottled greenish-brown. But in recent years, accounts of bright blue, orange, yellow, calico, white and even split lobsters — one color on one side, another on the other — have jumped. It’s now common to hear several stories a month of a lobsterman bringing one of the quirky crustaceans to shore.

Lobsters come in a variety of colors because of genetic variations. It’s been written that the odds of catching a blue lobster are 1-in-2 million, while orange comes in at 1-in-10 million. Yellow and orange-and-black calico lobsters have been pegged at 1-in-30 million, split-colored varieties at 1-in-50 million, and white — the rarest of all — at 1-in-100 million. But those are merely guesses, and nobody knows for sure. What is known is that colored lobsters have shown up in greater frequency in certain areas over the years.


Aside from their color, the lobsters are apparently normal in all other ways, Bayer said. They all turn red when they’re cooked, except for the white ones since they don’t have any pigment, and diners wouldn’t notice a difference.

Scientists say it’s possible the lobster population as a whole has a greater percentage of misfits than it did in years past. The off-colored lobsters are more susceptible to predators because they stick out more on the ocean bottom, rather than blending in like normal ones, said Diane Cowan, executive director of The Lobster Conservancy in Friendship, Maine. Lobstermen have brought Cowan countless colorful lobsters over the years. The prettiest one, she said, was pink and purple.

Why do you think there is a surge in finding oddly-colored lobsters nowadays? Would you want a lobster for a pet?

Source: Yahoo News

Image: Tree Hugger

Rare White Killer Whale Spotted For First Time In Wild

Scientists have made what they believe to be the first sighting of an adult white orca, or killer whale. The adult male, which they have nicknamed Iceberg, was spotted off the coast of Kamchatka in eastern Russia.

White whales of various species are occasionally seen; but the only known white orcas have been young, including one with a rare genetic condition that died in a Canadian aquarium in 1972.

The sightings were made during a research cruise off Kamchatka by a group of Russian scientists and students, co-led by Erich Hoyt, the long-time orca scientist, conservationist and author who is now a senior research fellow with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS).


The cause of his unusual pigmentation is not known. The captive white orca, Chima, suffered from Chediak-Higashi syndrome, a genetic condition that causes partial albinism as well as a number of medical complications. It is possible that an attempt may be made to take a biopsy from Iceberg; but with researchers reluctant to do so unless there is a compelling conservation reason, they are hoping instead for closer observations including a detection of eye colour.

The project Dr Hoyt co-leads, the Far East Russia Orca Project, has pioneered visual and acoustic monitoring in the inhospitable Kamchatka seas, and has produced a number of papers on the communication of killer whales. This may lead to improved understanding of the animals’ complex social structure, which includes matrilineal family clans, pods consisting of several families, and much larger “super-pods”.

Should scientists take white killer whales captive or should they let them stay in the wild? Tell us what you think!

Source: BBC News

Image: Focusing On Wildlife