When a group of fishermen discovered a six-clawed lobster in their catch, they knew they had something too good to throw back; Capt. Peter Brown and crewman Richard Figueiredo of the vessel Rachel Leah noticed the deformity and decided to donate the creature to the Maine State Aquarium in West Boothbay Harbor last week.
The lobster, who has been dubbed Lola, was actually caught near Hyannis and boasts a set of five claws on one side–arranged in a starfish pattern–and one normal claw on the other.
“This claw deformity is a genetic mutation,” aquarium manager Aimee Hayden-Roderiques said. “Sometimes they have this throughout their life, sometimes this happens during a regeneration from a damaged or lost claw.”
The aquarium houses several other types of ocean life, including lobsters with rare coloring in shades of blue and orange.
“We’re kind of the place for unusual lobsters,” said Hayden-Roderiques. “We think the colored ones are about one in a million, but there’s no way to know.”
Marine scientist David Libby says this particular lobster is a first for him, despite his 40 years of experience.
“Sometimes the genes will just get a little mixed and it will grow a funny claw,” he said. “But I’ve never seen anything like this.”
Image: Richard Figueiredo