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What is a Lobster?

Lobsters, like shrimp and crabs, are members of the decapod family, meaning "ten feet". Decapods have five pairs of walking legs, although the first pair have evolved into pincers, and they have another three pairs of legs that are mandibles used for feeding. These crustaceans' shells change pigment from brown to greenish-blue to a bright red to red-brown after cooking. This is due to the same family of pigment as the carotene in carrots, called astaxanthin. Astaxanthin is a compound pigment that is a combination of xanthin, the blue, green and brown pigments, and astacin, which is bright red and pink. Astacin, unlike xanthin, remains stable after cooking, thus the red color of lobster after cooking.

The two types of lobster found in the United States are the Northern lobster, which is the basic lobster found on the East Coast. The spiny lobster is found off of the coast of Florida, and is similar to the East Coast lobster except that it has no claws.

Lobsters are categorized in the group of Crustaceans due to their exoskeleton body and by anatomy; they belong to the members of Arthropod. These hard-shelled crustaceans are indebted to their advance systems of receptor antennas and sensor organs. Complete with chemoreceptor and thousands of motion sensing receptors. Lobsters are ultimately provided with the capability of being predominately nocturnal and away from the threat of predators in the sea. Lobsters vary in size, color, and form. Classified by 30 different clawed species and up to 45 clawless spiny species (Panuirs argus), while both are populated in salt water. Our American lobsters (Homarus americanus), being one of the most popular and abundant are found in the waters of Maine, and Maritimes of Canada to North Carolina. As a result, owing to the popular demand, the lobster industry has become one of the largest trades among the seafood industries nationally and internationally.

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