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The Jehoshua Novels


Cruel new fact of crustacean life: lobster cannibalism

Reuters, by Jason McClure

(Reuters) – Researchers studying Maine’s lobster population, booming in recent years amid warming waters and disappearing predators, have detected something never before seen in the wild: lobster cannibalism.

It has long been known that lobsters will attack and eat each other if confined together in a small space — hence the banding of claws on lobsters in supermarket tanks.

That aggressive behavior had not been thought to occur in the wild, but with the increasing density of the crustaceans in the Gulf of Maine it seems big lobsters are feasting on little lobsters once the sun goes down.

“We’ve got the lobsters feeding back on themselves just because they’re so abundant,” said Richard Wahle, a marine sciences professor at the University of Maine, who is supervising the research. “It’s never been observed just out in the open like this,” he said.

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