How do lobsters breathe?
Credit: Kai Chan Vong CC-BY 2.0
Q:

How do lobsters breathe?

A:

Quick Answer

Lobsters breathe through gills, which are located in a structure called the carapace. The carapace is situated at the top of the cephalothorax, which is commonly referred to as the lobster’s head. There are 20 pairs of gills that are separated into two branchial chambers inside the carapace. The gills are made up of short, fine filaments that absorb oxygen directly from the water.

  Know More

Full Answer

Water enters the lobster’s body through openings on the underside of its body. The water is forced through the branchial chambers by a structure called the gill baler, or bailer. The current of water, which normally flows towards the lobster’s head, can be reversed to clear debris out of the gills and branchial chambers. The flow of water also carries away urine, which contains biochemical signals about the individual’s gender, reproductive state and molting stage.

The gills of the lobster are very sensitive to environmental diseases, such as excretory calcinosis, which causes minerals to accumulate on the gills, according to Wikipedia. This eventually kills the lobster because it blocks oxygen uptake from the water. There was an outbreak of this disease in 2002, in Long Island Sound, that was thought to be caused by warmer water temperatures near the ocean floor, which is the lobster's natural habitat.

Learn more about Marine Life

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What eats lobsters?

    A:

    A wide variety of fish, including cod, flounder and wolffish, eat young lobsters. Once lobsters reach maturity, however, they have few predators aside from man. An adult lobster is most vulnerable to predators when it is molting, as its movement is limited and its exterior is soft.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Are lobsters related to cockroaches?

    A:

    Both lobsters and cockroaches are arthropods, making them distant relatives. An arthropod is a member of the phylum Arthropoda, which includes insects, crustaceans and arachnids. Arthropods are characterized by a jointed exoskeleton composed of chitin, a segmented body and jointed appendages.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Do lobsters feel pain?

    A:

    Although it is impossible to differentiate between pain and reflex, a recent study by scientists from Queen's University have concluded that there is a high possibility that lobsters and other crustaceans do feel pain on the grounds that they learn to avoid negative or "painful" stimulation. Lobsters and other crustaceans have very different biological systems from vertebrate animals, and primitive nervous systems that lack a brain.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do bivalves feed?

    A:

    Most bivalves absorb nutrition by filter feeding, which involves drawing particles of food into their gills through their mouths and into their stomachs. Some bivalves trap food with mucus-covered tentacles. Others are carnivorous, using siphons to draw in worms, larvae and crustaceans that are then pushed into their mouths.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore