Lobster is a tasty shellfish that is usually served at fancy restaurants. It is considered a luxury item many people enjoy on their special occasions.
But do you know lobster is often called a cockroach or scorpion of the sea?
The exoskeleton, the antennae, and many legs make a lobster look similar to the common cockroach or scorpion. So, are people eating insect meat for dinner in the name of lobster?
Many people may not be familiar with the fact that spiders and scorpions belong to the same class of Arachnids, and lobsters look quite similar to them. Does it make lobsters belong to the same category as spiders and scorpions?
Are lobsters really Arachnids?
If there are so many similarities between lobsters and common bugs, why is one enjoyed as a luxury food item but not the others? Though it is true that lobsters are somehow related to all these creepy crawlies, there are still a huge number of differences between them.
If you are confused about lobsters being a bug, here is your answer – LOBSTERS ARE NOT BUGS. Scroll down to find out why lobsters are not bugs!
Why are lobsters not bugs?
People frequently call lobster a bug because of its appearance, similar to creepy crawlies. However, they often wonder why one is enjoyed as a gourmet dish while others are considered pests.
Let’s clear out the confusion once and for all. Lobsters and cockroaches may have shared a common ancestor about 500 million years ago. However, they have evolved into pretty different creatures. Thanks to evolution!
Even though they may look quite similar to other bugs, they are not bugs by any definition of biology. Lobsters belong to a class named Crustacea, along with other marine creatures like shrimps and crabs.
Both crustaceans and insects are arthropods and can be used as food by humans. However, Crustaceans have become more popular dining fare over time.
If scorpions and spiders are edible, you must be wondering why they are not as popular as lobsters or crabs. That is mainly because of the size difference. Lobsters are quite large and meaty. They are great in taste, whereas other arthropods are not.
Another reason why humans refuse to have spiders or scorpions for dinner is because of an inherent fear they possess. According to many old beliefs, spiders and scorpions carry various diseases.
Also, their ability to appear out of nowhere and terrifying appearance has made them a less popular food choice.
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Why do people call lobster a bug?
In many parts of the world, lobster is considered one of the types of bugs. However, in reality, lobsters are not bugs at all. People assume lobsters to be a kind of bug because they belong to the phylum Arthropoda just like other bugs do.
However, most of them are not familiar with the fact that Arthropoda is the largest phylum in the animal kingdom and is further divided into many subphylums. Lobsters belong to one of those subphylums – Crustacea. Therefore, they may look similar, but they are completely different creatures.
How are lobsters different from bugs?
Let’s take a closer look at how lobsters differ from insects.
The body of insects is divided into three parts – the head, thorax, and abdomen. However, the head and thorax are fused in lobsters, forming a cephalothorax.
Therefore, the lobsters and insects may look quite similar at a quick glance. However, if you take a closer look, you might be able to notice the significant difference between their appearances.
Number and shape of legs
Most insects have six legs arranged in three pairs. However, in the case of Crustaceans – lobsters, shrimps, and crabs have more than three pairs of legs. Also, some species may have more than ten pairs of appendages.
Also, legs are further divided for various purposes, such as:
- Sperm transfer
Insects are one of the most versatile arthropods when it comes to habitat. They are well-adapted to almost every habitat, such as:
- Even bodies of animals
On the other hand, Crustaceans are limited to aquatic habitats only, with most being marine. Some species can live in freshwater, and some are adapted to land. However, lobsters can only be found at the bottom of the ocean and cannot survive on land for an extended period.
Composition of exoskeleton
All the arthropods have a rigid and waterproof exoskeleton for the protection and attachment of internal muscles. However, the exoskeleton of bugs is composed of a thick waxy cuticle made up of Chitin. Whereas in Crustaceans (mainly lobsters and shrimps), the exoskeleton is further hardened by calcium carbonate.
Insects usually have one pair of antennae. However, lobsters technically have three pairs of antennas – one large pair and two small pairs. The larger antennas help lobsters find their way around, whereas they use the smaller antennas to recognize various chemical signals in water.
Another major difference between lobsters and bugs is respiratory systems. Bugs usually breathe through spiracles in their exoskeletons and trachea in their internal system. Even the aquatic bugs breathe through small tubes called siphons, and some of them have the ability to store oxygen in their vacuoles.
On the other hand, lobsters have a completely different respiratory system. They breathe through gills and have a mechanism similar to fish.
Why are lobsters so expensive?
Nowadays, lobster is an expensive gourmet dish that not everyone can afford to eat. However, long ago, lobsters were the only protein source poor people could afford. Therefore, they were eaten by poor people daily and were prisoners’ only choice of food.
However, as technology advanced and demand increased, lobsters no longer remained poor people’s food. Instead, they became a luxury food item that only rich people could afford.
Do you know what makes them so expensive? It is because they are quite rare. Since lobsters are only found at the bottom of the ocean, they are quite difficult to find. Only lobstermen can spot them and take them out of the water safely.
Moreover, the lobsters take several years to grow to standard market size – more than three-and-a-half inches and less than five inches. Also, getting lobsters supplied to all parts of the world is quite tricky and drives prices up further. For all these reasons, lobsters continue to remain a delicacy for the rich to enjoy.
Who would have thought a poor man’s food would become a luxury item in the future? Nowadays, even a small lobster roll can cost you a huge amount of money.
Is lobster good for you?
Lobsters are not only delicious, but they are quite nutritious too. Whether in pasta, sandwich, patty or on their own, lobsters have a lot to offer. Many people enjoy lobster on special occasions due to the hefty price tag it comes along with. It should be added to the menu more often, considering its plenty of health benefits
Here are a few major health benefits of eating lobster:
Plenty of protein
Proteins are crucial for the human body to function properly. Typical protein sources include meat, but they are usually high in fat. Therefore, if you are looking for a protein supply with low fats, lobster is a perfect food choice for you. It is low in fat and high in protein, making it ideal to consume.
While protein content is required for the growth and repair of cells, any unused content will be used as energy. Therefore, if you already have a high-protein diet, then a weekly or monthly dose of lobster will give you the perfect energy boost for work and pleasure.
Only three ounces of lobster can provide more than 30% of the recommended daily intake.
The perfect cure to anemia
Are you anemic? If yes, start eating lobster more often. Lobsters are a rich source of copper which can help you improve your blood iron levels. People can cure their anemia or at least reduce their symptoms by incorporating lobster into their daily diets. Expensive remedy but delivers the best results!
Lobster provides all the essential nutrients to your body but does not contain as many calories as other meat options. Therefore, it can be a great food choice for people who want to shed some pounds off their bodies and still satisfy their cravings.
Do you want to reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis and arthritis in the future? If yes, it is important to get the recommended dose of essential minerals and vitamins daily.
Lobster is not only great in taste, but it is a rich source of many essential nutrients for the development of healthy bones, such as phosphorus and calcium.
Therefore, by eating lobster, you will be able to build healthy bones. The healthier your bones, the more active you will be in the future.