How Do Lobsters Communicate? [17 Interesting Facts]

How do lobsters communicate with each other? This article is about how lobsters interact, including some important information you should know. We humans are not the only creatures that communicate with our kind, lobsters and other animal species interact, too.

Lobsters communicate in a surprising and unique way. Humans communicate in day-to-day life by speaking to each other and thus expressing inner feelings.

Let’s find the scientific answer to this crucial question –

How do lobsters communicate with each other?

How Do Lobsters Communicate With Each Other
How Do Lobsters Communicate: Facts & Stats

Lobsters interact with other animal species in a different way. Scientists researched and found that lobsters communicate by squirting urine at themselves.

However, the squirted-out urine is not just plain old waste. The material or the substance released by lobsters is from their face, not from the back like other animals do.

So, while communicating lobsters pee on each other’s faces. They don’t have vocal cords, which are used by other animals to make sounds for communication purposes. So, they don’t make any gestures or scream as a mode of communicating.

Whether you have encountered lobsters during a seaside vacation or, in an aquarium, they are sure to have fascinated you with their strangeness.

Lobsters as a crustacean, with their antennas, claws, and hard shell, simply appear intensely different from animals we usually surround ourselves with and human beings.

Humans always tend to look for similarities and shared experiences. Since communication is one of the main pillars of human life you might have asked yourself before; how do lobsters communicate?

Lobsters are not able to produce any sound verbally because lobsters have no vocal cords. So screaming or talking is out of the question “how do lobsters communicate”. Instead, to put this very normally they squirt pee at each other’s faces to interact.

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How Lobsters Squirt Pee When Communicating

We have mentioned previously the strange way lobsters interact. But, how does this species manage to squirt pee?

Examine particularly the head region of a lobster. On both sides of their heads, you’ll notice two bladders. Under both eyes of a lobster, you’ll notice a very small nozzle that releases urine. That’s the place they release the substance on each other’s faces while interacting.

What substance or material does lobsters’ squirt pee release from the nozzle?

Lobsters’ squirted urine is a chemical messenger. It is not just any waste material or urine. This chemical helps the animal to communicate various things including aggression, attraction, and even recognition.

This process is done by lobsters very easily because they urinate on their faces. The bladder of a lobster is located just under its brain. It is called “rosette glands” which produce pheromones, basically, these are chemicals that work as hormones outside of their body and other lobsters can easily smell them.

The pheromones that are produced by rosette glands are then injected into the stream of urine. Pheromones with the urines are released through openings located just at the base of the lobster’s antenna. 

In the face of a lobster, the fan-like appendages help move the stream of urine directly towards the opposite lobster. 

Whenever lobsters pee sometimes they just want to express that they recognize the other lobster they encounter, more often, the message is about attraction or aggregation.

This process of communicating through pheromones in lobster pee can simply be compared to the method dogs mark their area or territory and leave messages through their urine.

If you are a dog owner whoever went out with your dog you might have noticed that they are sniffing out these markings of other dogs constantly.

Though, usually, lobsters do not get along at all, unlike dogs. Especially, often, the males fight for the right to have the first preference of a mate and dominance. It is proved that the urine of a male lobster who won a fight has a peculiar smell that is especially attractive to the female lobsters.

However, sometimes the fights between the competing male lobsters are not witnessed because they are solitary animals. The changed pheromone profile is the lobster’s method of telling and bragging to the whole world that he has just won a fight for a mate and dominance.

A female lobster enters the burrow of a male lobster when she is attracted by the sweet smell of a successful male, the first and foremost thing to do is of course – to pee in the male’s face.

How do lobsters communicate? (Video Source: BBC Earth/Youtube)

In this process, the pheromone has the effect of allowing his mate to enter the burrow and thus reduce the male lobster’s aggregation. The female lobster will emit pheromones once she has entered and cozied up with the male, making it clear that the lobster in the burrow has been accepted as a mate.

Do lobsters never make any sound at all?

This is not always true. There is a European lobster species. This species makes a sound by rubbing its antennas together. The squeaky sound of the lobster species is so loud that it can be even heard two miles away under seawater.

Scientists and researchers are still confused about what the actual purpose of this noise is, however they assume the sound is mostly to ward off predators.

In reality, the fact is that there are no lobster species that have vocal chords. Singing or talking crustaceans will remain in the realm of animated films.

Lobsters have a bizarre past and it is revealed by a bit of research on them and is known to exhibit some strange behaviors (for example, they pee from their faces). 

Intrigued? Keep reading to know 17 unique and strange facts about the crustacean in honor of National Lobster Day.

17 incredible facts that will change the way you will think about lobsters

1. Female lobster takes “her clothes off” in order to mate. Lobsters have to shed its shell and regrow relatively bigger, newer ones to grow. This happens in this vulnerable period when the female lobster takes the decision to mate, shaking up with her male partner for 10 to 14 days until her new shell grows. She is then protected by the new shell and can move on.

The female can hold on to her partner’s sperm for up to 2 years before using it to fertilize her eggs. She is not monogamous. At the same time, the female lobsters can carry sperm from multiple males.

2. Lobsters can pee out of their faces. Lobsters have tiny urine-release nozzles just under their eyes. As a way of communicating they urinate in each other’s faces, either when mating or fighting.

3. Lobsters have the tomalley (The green stuff). The tomalley is the digestive tissue that works as the lobster’s pancreas and liver. Many people consider it a delicacy, however ingesting the green stuff is not recommended by the FDA   because this may be contaminated with toxins.

4. Lobsters have dual stomachs. One stomach is in their head — and surprisingly it has teeth! It performs the work of crushing the food they eat. The second stomach is just behind the first one and it extends into the abdomen. It assists in the digestion process.

5. A single lobster claw is able to exert 100 pounds of pressure per square inch. Be cautious. A 21-pound lobster’s claw is so powerful that it can break a man’s arm.

6. In an emergency situation lobsters can detach one of their limbs, but during the molting period, they can regrow it. In an average lifespan, lobsters can molt and regrow their shells up to 30 times.

7. Lobster was anything but a delicacy in the 17th century period. During that time lobsters were so abundant that their shells were used as fertilizer and their meat was fed to pigs and dogs. Laws were even passed that forbade people to serve their meat more than three times per week to prisoners or servants.

8. Lobsters are cannibals. Lobsters will eat one another if food scarcity arises. Of course, lobster cannibalism occurrences seem to be increasing. Many biologists think climate change is to blame for that.

9. While put in a pan of boiling water lobsters doesn’t scream in pain. Since lobsters don’t have vocal cords, they literally can’t scream. The sound many people hear when screaming is the air being released from their stomachs via their mouths.

 10. They taste with their legs. Feet hairs of lobsters and their chemosensory legs identify food. For tracking down food that is farther away, they use their small antennae in front of their eyes. If you notice a lobster in a tank, you will see they’re looking for food and flipping dissolved substances in the tank water.

11. Lobster shells were once used to make golf balls. After lobster processing, the leftover shells are generally tossed into landfills. Therefore, to keep the money in the lobster industry and in an effort to make them worth something, a professor at the University of Maine created golf balls with a core made out of shells of lobster.

The shells are designed for golfing on courses near oceans and lakes or cruise ships. The shells are also biodegradable.

12. The largest lobster weight recorded was 20.14kg and its length was between 3-4ft. Its age was assumed to be at least 100 years old!

13. They do not have a central nervous system like mammals. Lobsters’ nervous system is similar to ants or grasshoppers. 

14. When a lobster is escaping predation or, alarmed, it can swim backward using its tail quickly.

15. Lobsters are able to travel huge distances. A single deep-water lobster was once recorded traveling 225 miles across the seafloor! In water temperatures, they are very sensitive to changes. This can cause lobsters to move areas fast.

16. Lobsters have a total of 10 legs.

17. Dual-toned lobsters are caused by a genetic mutation, where they are part one color and part another color. This case is very rare. It has a 1 in 50 million chance of this happening!

The main issue is they only go about 70 percent of the total distance of a regular golf ball. So there is less chance to see them in the U.S. Open games anytime soon.

FAQs

How Do Lobsters Greet Each Other?

What is the way lobsters “interact” with each other? In order to simplify it, possible, they pee on each face of each other. When they pee, lobsters release the pheromones (or chemicals) simultaneously.

Does Lobsters Pee Out of Their Face?

Lobsters pee out of their faces to turn their partners on. In the world of lobsters, there is a male that dominates an area, and the females will gather around to get mated with the male. To get him into the mood, females wait outside of his den and then pee in his direction with specially designed nozzles on their faces.

Do Lobsters Get Along With Each Other?

Lobsters don’t tend to be apathetic about an ally. In their natural environment lobsters are lonely and aggressive creatures. The act of mating doesn’t have to last forever, it’s only for a couple of days until the act is completed.

Do Lobsters Pee Out of Their Eyes?

Lobsters pee out of their faces. They have nozzles for urine release just in front of their eyes. They will urinate on each other’s faces as a method of communicating, whether fighting or mating.

Do Lobsters Love?

It’s well-known that lobsters love each other and will mate for the rest of their lives. There are even old couples of lobsters walking through their tanks with claws.

How Long Can Lobsters Go Without Eating?

Lobsters can last for an entire whole month with no food.

Summary

How do lobsters communicate? We have answered this question in detail. All the lobsters communicate by peeing at each other’s faces. The chemical substance known as pheromone helps them to understand the message each one is trying to pass.

Communication is an indispensable part of life. Every animal species communicates in a different way. Lobsters don’t make any gestures because they lack vocal cords. What they do to communicate is pee on each other’s faces, and that’s sufficient for them to interact.

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Dibyajyoti Bordoloi is the creator and author of FishCampRehab.com, a third-generation experienced fish keeper and owner of a successful pet breeding farm. He is also a member of the Center for Wildlife Rehabilitation And Conservation (Assam), the Marine Aquarium Societies of North East India, and the Kaziranga Nature Conservancy of Assam.