A very rare orange lobster was barely cooked alive in a restaurant in Mississippi (USA), after cooks realized that the creature was different from the usual ones.
The appearance of the fluorescent crustacean left the staff at the Red Lobster restaurant intrigued, especially as it represents a species that is found once in every 30 million other specimens.
Due to the confusion generated by the lobster, the cooks affectionately christened it “Biscuit”. However, it is not the first time that a lobster of this type has arrived at the chain’s restaurant.
According to the Sun Herald, the first orange lobster was found at a Red Lobster unit in Hollywood, Florida, in mid-July. She earned the name “Cheddar”.
For biologists, the appearance of two unusual lobsters in units of the same franchise is no coincidence. Crustacean expert Jared Durret, a researcher at Ripley’s Aquarium in Myrtle Beach, claims that the phenomenon may be associated with some change in the environment that is affecting these animals.
“Orange lobsters are uncommon, but perhaps not as rare as we thought. Lobsters get their color from the pigments they ingest in their diet. If these orange lobsters are being caught in the same region, perhaps their localized diet contains a pigment that, when combined with the lobster genetics, creates the orange color that we are seeing”, declared Durret”.
Cheddar and Biscuit were rescued and taken to Ripley’s Aquarium, where they will be cared for and studied.
These lobsters are rare because their bright color makes them attractive to predators. Most of them are rusty brown in color and turn red when cooked because the heat changes the pigment molecules in their bodies.
Ripley’s Aquarium researchers said in a statement that they had partnered with Red Lobster to study the “anomaly” of orange crustaceans.
“We plan to delve deeper into this and study the reasons why this abnormality is occurring more frequently. Our partnership with Red Lobster will allow us to capture fishermen’s data, which is normally not easy to obtain due to confidentiality.”
Sought after by the press, Red Losbter spokeswoman Nicole Bott said that the situation also marks an opportunity for the company to get to know these animals better and their relevance in the environment. However, the executive pointed out that there are certain theories for the emergence of orange lobsters, especially during the summer months.
“On the rare occasions when we get a lobster like Biscuit, we have to ask why,” he said. “We are hearing from our fishermen in the area where Cheddar and Biscuit were caught that they are seeing a lot of orange lobsters this time of year. This seems to indicate that the coloration comes from a different food source. We are excited to support Ripley’s research. and learn more about our changing lobster populations,” he concluded.