Lola the six-clawed lobster was captured but won't be eaten. Instead, she has been sent to the Main State Aquarium where she can be observed by visitors.
The mutant lobster and her rare six-claws will be on display during regular business hours from Wednesday through September 29. The aquarium is located in West Boothbay Harbor.
The aquarium is home to some other strange mutations including the indigo-blue lobster and a half-red specimen that occurs with a 1-in-50 million ratio.
Some scientists believe Lola is even more rare than the half-red specimen. Instead of a normal second claw, Lola the six-clawed lobster has a hard-shelled appendage that is divided into five finger-like claws.
Lola has gone viral, and Aquarium director Aimee Hayden-Roderiques and David Libby say the lobster deserves its viral status. While they have both worked with sea-creatures for a long-time, they have never witnessed a six-clawed lobster.
Lola was captured by the crew of the F/V Rachel Leah. When she was first discovered, the fisherman knew they had something unique and special. Rachel Leah captain Peter Brown named the lobster and brought her to the aquarium last Thursday.
The Facebook page for the aquarium notes that Lola was caught off the coast of Hyannis, Massachusetts and weighs in at four-pounds.
The six-clawed lobster was likely the product of regulatory genes that accidentally told the body to grow extra appendages. Abnormalities can arise when the genes give the wrong or duplicate signal. Lola could also have regenerated her strange claw after a previous injury was sustained.
Lobsters with non-functional claws typically die off quickly in the wild because they can not function properly to survive. It looks like Lola being captured meant her life was spared from the harsh conditions of the sea.
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