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Thermidor the Lobster

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PostPosted: 05-08-2006 16:41    Post subject: Thermidor the Lobster Reply with quote


11:00 - 05 August 2006

Thermidor the scarlet lobster has clawed his way into the record books due to a rare ten million to one colour mutation that turns crustacean's bright red - before they are cooked. Lobsters, like crabs, are normally blue/brown until they hit a pot of boiling water.

So fisherman Rick Mitchelmore thought he was the victim of a practical joke after he pulled the four-year-old European lobster from a pot off the coast of Dartmouth, South Devon.

However, Thermidor was alive and as he was such an unusual catch, Mr Mitchelmore donated it to the National Lobster Hatchery in Padstow, North Cornwall.

Hatchery technician Rory Pryor, 24, said: "The fisherman who brought this to us has been catching lobster for 40 years and he has never seen anything like it - they really are fantastically rare.

"He thought someone had slipped a cooked lobster in his pot as a joke, so he must have had a fright when it started moving."

The edible crimson crustacean has a rare genetic mutation known as a "colour morph" that makes him appear red rather than the normal blue-brown colour of an uncooked lobster.

Thermidor's appearance in British waters is being noted in the marine species recording scheme, a log that keeps track of rare finds in our waters.

Mr Pryor said: "In contrast to popular belief, normal lobsters only turn orange or red once cooked; a live lobster with red colouring like Thermidor occurs once in every ten million lobsters.

"His red colour makes him look like one of his less fortunate cooked relatives and gives him a zombie-like quality which is in fact magnificently beautiful.

"He is now making himself at home in one of our tanks and enjoys being fed on a diet of mussels."

The rare red lobster is 20cm long but now he is in captivity and away from natural predators - who would easily pick him out thanks to his colouring - he could grow to be 3ft and live to 100-years-old.

Thermidor has been joined by another unusual visitor this summer - a slipper lobster rarely seen out of warm Mediterranean waters.

The creature with two beady red eyes and bright blue stripes across his body, was caught off the north coast of Cornwall at Portreath.

His appearance is being put down to global warming and hotter summers which have attracted an array of exotic creatures to our waters - including a shoal of sunfish also spotted off Cornwall last week. There are thought to have been fewer than 20 slipper lobsters caught around Britain since records began in 1758.

Mr Pryor said: "It is a strange little creature that we don't really know much about. They are not native to these waters.

"Perhaps it wandered a little off course, but it could be seen as an indication of climate change that our waters are getting warmer and more like those of the Mediterranean.

"He was caught off Cornwall by a fisherman using nets, which indicates he was in a deep bit of water.

"He is a docile little fellow and quite content to sit in the bottom of his tank until you try to catch him.

"Then he thrashes about, kicking up an almighty fuss.

"We will also be adding him to the log of unusual creatures caught off our coast."

The slipper lobster can fit in the palm of your hand and has no claws - which may explain why he is less aggressive than the European lobster.

Slipper lobsters are instantly recognisable by their enlarged antennae, which project forward from the head as wide plates.
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PostPosted: 21-07-2012 21:13    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rare orange lobster to be given to Guernsey aquarium

The rare lobster was hauled up by fisherman Alan Vaudin near Cobo

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A rare orange lobster, caught off Guernsey's west coast on Wednesday, is to be donated to the island's aquarium.

Alan Vaudin, who has been a fisherman for 22 years, said: "I've never seen a lobster as orange as this before."

Mr Vaudin sold the crustacean to fishmonger Andy Le Prevost, who has decided it should be given a reprieve.

Instead of being sold to a customer to eat, he said it would be kept in a tank at his St Peter Port shop before being given to the nearby aquarium.

Mr Le Prevost said: "It looks like a cooked lobster."

"I've been a fishmonger for four years and before that a fisherman for 30 years and I know people that have fished a lot longer and we don't know anyone who has ever seen one before."
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PostPosted: 06-03-2014 16:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are more!

'Incredibly rare' orange lobster rehomed in Bristol

An "incredibly rare" orange-coloured lobster caught by Scottish fishermen has been rehomed for permanent display.
The crustacean was hauled in near Isle of Coll in January by fishermen who contacted marine experts in Edinburgh with their unusual find.

Cooked lobsters are commonly associated with the colour but experts reckon only one in ten million are orange when alive.
Bristol Aquarium has taken the lobster to be used in its visitor displays.
David Waines, from the aquarium, said: "According to the University of Maine's Lobster Institute, this type of colour mutation is extremely rare.
"In fact, they estimate the odds of finding an orange-coloured lobster is around one in 10 million.

"No one is entirely sure why these sort of colour changes happen in individual crustaceans. It may be some kind of genetic mutation or a reaction to some kind of outside stimulus.
"We're not even certain if the colouration will stay the same when the lobster eventually moults, I guess we will just have to wait and see what happens."
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PostPosted: 06-03-2014 16:20    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not forgetting:

Posted: Fri 26-07-2013, 7:08 Post subject:

Meet Jaffa - the one in ten million orange lobster
Wednesday, July 24, 2013 CG_Oscar

JAFFA may sound like an unusual name for a lobster, but that is what staff at Padstow’s National Lobster Hatchery have named their “one in ten million" star attraction.

Most of the lobsters caught around Cornish shores are blue or a mottled calico colour, some can be light brown or very dark blue - but rarely are they orange.

Ben Marshall, senior technician said at the hatchery, said: “This is a very queer specimen, It would be great to have a pair, so that we could breed them and use their babies as natural markers to indicate movements of juveniles when released - Jaffa brings a zesty appeal to our visitor centre.

Research and development officer Dr Carly Daniels said: “There are various theories on why some lobsters are different colours, such as genetic differences, diet, or adaptation to their habitat.
“A lobster may become paler if it lives in a light coloured sandy area, or darker if it lives in a deep wreck. What a lobster feeds upon might also influence its colour. If it feeds on highly pigmented foods such as mussels or crabs it might be dark, or if I feeds on fish it might become paler.

“ Colour morphs are different however, being a genetic variant. In general, colouration is due to several pigments found within the shell. We are unsure of why orange lobsters are orange before being cooked, but it might be that they simply lack protein.’’

Shellfish Express of Paignton donated the animal to the charity.

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