Lobster Cannibalism Is a Thing Now. Thanks a Lot, Global Warming
As if we don't have enough reasons to be disgruntled about climate change -- you know, like more hurricanes and tsunamis -- here's another to add to the list. Marine biologists have found that the combination of climate change, rising water temperatures, and overfishing are causing tasty crustaceans like the one above to "eviscerate" their young in the wild.
Lauren Saria The eye of the lobster.
Seriously. There's a video.
Noah Oppenheim, a scientist studying the marine ecosystems off the coast of Maine, was the first one to catch an incident of lobster cannibalism on tape. He simply sent a baby lobster in a trap down to the bottom of the ocean, where a hungry adult lobster promptly attacked and consumed him. Pretty sad, but, hey, anything in the name of science, right?
When similar experiments were conducted in the past, scientists found that the little lobsters usually were consumed by fish. But nowadays, scientists have concluded that young lobsters are 90 times more likely to be eaten by their own kind than other fish.
Oppenheim says the change might be because of rising water temperatures (over the past 10 years, average temperature in the coastal water there has been 50.7 degrees, compared to the century average of 47.6), which are making the lobster more, uh, frisky. And fertile.
That, combined with overfishing of the lobster's natural predators, means lobsters are looking for new sources of food. And, really, can we blame them? Lobster is damn delicious.
"If we enjoy eating lobsters, perhaps other lobsters enjoy eating lobsters, too," Oppenheim told The Independent.
Warning: The video below includes graphic lobster-on-lobster violence.