Business, Economics and Jobs

Lobster cannibals caused by warm seasons


Warmer weather has turned some lobsters on the East Coast into cannibals say researchers.


Joe Raedle

Warmer weather has caused the US East Coast's lobster population to spike and brought out their nasty side.

Cannibalism has now been found among lobsters, something never recorded in the wild before.

Though it is known that lobsters will attack each other when kept in close quarters — hence the rubber bands on their claws when crowded into market tanks — they don't typically exhibit that behavior in the wild, reported Reuters.

The weather has boosted numbers of lobsters, helping to increase lobster supply while bottoming out prices. It is believed that overfishing of cod and halibut, the lobster's predator, is also to blame.

"We've got the lobsters feeding back on themselves just because they're so abundant," said Richard Wahle, a marine sciences professor at the University of Maine, who is supervising the research, according to Reuters.

"It's never been observed just out in the open like this."

More from GlobalPost: Are spiders getting bigger? New research indicates the answer is "yes"

National Geographic said that the catch of lobsters in Maine rose to 104 million pounds last year, compared to 23 million pounds in 1981.

2011 set a record for the number of pounds, while 2012 is expected to yield huge numbers as well.