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Consider the Cannibal Lobster

July 29, 2013

 

Consider the Cannibal Lobster

 

Posted by  on Wednesday, July 24, 2013  

 

In warming seas, even lobsters think lobster is delicious.

Noah Oppenheim’s plan was simple: Rig a young lobster underneath a waterproof, infrared camera; drop the contraption overboard off the coast of Maine; and see who comes along for a bite to eat. The takers, he expected, would be fish: Cod, herring, and other “groundfish” found in these waters that are known to love a good lobster dinner. Similar experiments conducted in the 1990s showed that apart from being snatched up in one of the thousands of traps that sprinkle the sea floor here—tools of this region’s signature trade—fish predation was the principle cause of lobster death. Instead, Oppenheim, a marine biology graduate student at the University of Maine, captured footage that looks like it comes straight from the reel of a 1950s B-grade horror movie: Rampant lobster cannibalism.


Tim McDonnell

 
Marine Science

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