How Many Legs Does A Lobster Have? Interesting Marine Facts

Deepthi Reddy
Feb 25, 2023 By Deepthi Reddy
Originally Published on Nov 11, 2021
Edited by Lara Simpson
Colourful Tropical Rock lobster under water
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.4 Min

Surprising but true, a lobster is a marine arthropod!

Lobsters belong to the phylum Arthropoda that insects and grasshoppers also share. There are many interesting facts about this aquatic animal.

Lobster is primarily classified as an arthropod because of its hard exoskeleton and body anatomy. An American lobster, commonly known as a lobster, is native to the northwestern Atlantic and found in large water bodies like the ocean and on the seafloor. They dwell in both fresh and salty water; although, the ocean floor is their favorite place.

These solitary marines live in burrows on the seafloor under rocks ideal for hiding from predators. The lobsters are omnivores and can eat anything their claws grab. They like to eat food fresh; their diet predominantly includes mollusks, crabs, starfish, mussels, clams, sea urchins, and marine worms. They are capable of preying on fast-swimming shrimps, fishes, and sea fleas.

During spring, sometimes in the absence of aquatic animals, they survive with plants and sponges. They do not eat their species. Humans are significant predators.

Lobsters sometimes consume their old shell to build a hard and healthy new exoskeleton.

Lobsters are generally olive green or greenish-brown with red, orange, dark green, or black speckles. The joints are often blue.

When cooked, the protein in the animal releases astaxanthin from its shell, and they turn red. The respiratory unit of lobster is equipped with 20 pairs of gills in branchial chambers; these gills play an essential role in flushing out waste.

Lobsters don't swim fast unless to catch prey or to escape from a predator.

If you agree that our interesting content answered your question, how many legs does a lobster have? we have more fun facts articles - how many legs do scorpions have? How many legs do spiders have?

Types Of Lobsters

Lobsters are arthropods and belong to the Crustacea class and Decapoda order.

A lobster has a cephalothorax, abdomen, appendages, and ten legs. The two legs in the front are classified as non-walking legs as they serve the purpose of defense.

A lobster is not a fish. Lobsters belong to an order of aquatic invertebrates that do not have a backbone, and fishes are vertebrates. 

Lobsters are also called decapods as they belong to order Decapoda, which indicates that they have ten feet and the front three pairs have pincers. There are around 45 species found of these crustaceans in various oceans, of which the majority are commercial species. The main groups of lobsters are clawed lobsters and spiny lobsters.

The clawed crustaceans stay in cold water, and the spiny lobsters are rock lobsters; these invertebrates have many long antennas rather than claws, and their body has spines. They live in warm tropical and sub-tropical conditions and on rocky reefs.

Number Of Legs In Lobster

How many legs does a lobster have? The lobsters have five pairs of walking legs (or ten feet).

The front legs are equipped with pinchers, and the remaining four pairs of feet have particular organs to hold onto the rugged seafloor. Two claws of the animal hunt food and fight for defense or territory concerns.

The lobster has several appendages around the mouthpart that chew and grind the food before passing it on to the mouth. Lobsters, like all arthropods, are symmetrical bilaterally and contain two significant partitions, the cephalothorax, and the abdomen.

The cephalothorax comprises the head and midsection of the animal's body. There are 14 segments found in the cephalothorax, and extending from this shell are the claws.

The two prominent claws are the pincer claw and the crusher claw. The crusher claw has the strength to crush any prey. The other claw of the lobster reserved with the largest and sharpest pincers is called the pincer claw.

The abdomen of the animal has six segments. They are not fused; hence the lobster can race with flexibility.

On the ventral surface at the tail are the swimmerets attached to the first five segments of the abdomen. The sixth segment is built of the tail fan, allowing the animal to move forward and backward swiftly with robust contract and retract.

Lobster limbs can be regenerated, which is called autotomy. They can discard their legs, claws, and antennae because of their primitive nervous system, but it takes as long as five years for a lobster to grow its claws back.

The digestive tract of the animal consists of three stomachs. Foregut, midgut and the hindgut.

The lobster's first stomach has a set of teeth to grind the consumed food. The midgut or second stomach aids the digestion of the ground food with the help of the green tomalley glands. The third stomach or hindgut functions as the rectum that extracts out large or undigested particles.

Do all lobsters have the same number of legs?

Caribbean spiny lobster

Lobsters are aquatic arthropods of the Decapoda order.

Hence they are decapods, and all the species of these crustaceans have ten legs.

They are known to have poor vision and can only see explicit media during the night. They have a strong sense of smell. They are nocturnal creatures. Their legs have important chemo-sensors, and the small antennae have chemo-receptors. These detect odors and distant chemical signals.

The lobsters do not have throat and vocal cords.

How many claws do lobsters have?

The lobster has two prominent claws in ten legs.

The front-most pair of lobster legs have large sharp pincers. This pair of claws are referred to as the pincer claw and crusher claw, where the crusher claw is larger than the pincer claw.

A crusher claw can crush any hard shell for the animal, whereas a pincer claw can slice through soft tissues with sharp edges like a razor.

The lobsters were once considered food to prisoners during colonial times. Lobsters grow as long as they live and do not have a size limit. An average lobster molts 44 times before its first year of birth is over. They continue to molt once a year for seven years and grow larger once every two to three years.

The most giant lobster ever caught and recorded was 44 pounds ( 20 kg ) and 3.5 feet ( 107 cm ). It was spotted in 1977 in Nova Scotia. If left to survive, the American lobster life can reach 100 years.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you like our suggestions for how many legs do lobster have? Then why not look at how many legs do cockroaches have? or Norway lobster facts.

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Written by Deepthi Reddy

Master of Business Administration

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Deepthi ReddyMaster of Business Administration

With an MBA under her belt, Deepthi has discovered her true calling in content writing. Her writing repertoire is diverse, covering travel, movies, pet care, parenting, animals and birds, and more. Her joy of learning and creating has helped her craft well-written and engaging articles. When she isn't writing, Deepthi enjoys exploring new cultures, trying different foods, and spending quality time with her two children aged 7 and 12.

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