A rare yellow lobster has been caught off the coast of Maine and has been lovingly named Banana.
Banana was caught by lobster man who goes by the name of Marley Babb in Tenant’s Harbor St. George and donated it to the university on Wednesday, said the University of New England (UNE) in a pres release. The yellow color is a result of a pigment in the lobster's shell and the odds of catching one are about one in 30 million, according to the Lobster Institute at the University of Maine. Yellow lobsters occur about once in 30 million lobsters, according to the Alliance. Blue lobsters are one in two million while white lobsters are even more rare at one in 100 million. Lobster shells are typically greenish-blue or brown, but certain proteins occasionally cause one to have a blue or yellow or white shell. The crustaceans only turn red when they’ve been boiled — something Banana will never have to worry about, thanks to Babb’s donation, however the white (albino) lobster doesn't change color.
Babb contacted the Maine Department of Marine Research (DMR) after his once-in-a-lifetime catch to see if they would be interested in housing the lobster.
Lindsey Forrette, a lab coordinator and chemical hygiene officer in the School of Marine and Environmental Programs said Babb drove two hours from his location in Tenant's Harbor to drop off Banana.
"UNE has cultivated strong connections with lobster men and Maine DMR," Charles Tilburg, director of the School of Marine and Environmental Programs said in a statement. "It was through those connections that (researchers) learned about Banana and Lindsay was able to coordinate with Marley from there."
The University of New England is sharing an $860,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) with the Maine Department of Marine Resources, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, and Hood College in Maryland to study the impact that a warming Gulf of Maine is having on lobster larvae and their success in growing to adulthood.
"Banana is about a pound to a pound and a half and is settling in nicely here," Forrette said.
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