The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Hold the butter and forks: Goliath the Lobster gets new home at Montreal Biodome

  • Print

MONTREAL - Goliath the giant lobster isn't worrying about anyone buttering him up for a feast.

Not that anyone could really say what the unblinking seven-kilogram crustacean is thinking after being whisked from a Montreal-area supermarket to a new life at Montreal's Biodome nature museum.

Found among their lobster shipment last week, the staff at the IGA supermarket in Varennes near Montreal couldn't see selling the beady eyed bottom-dweller and called the museum.

"They found it very spectacular," Serge Pepin, the Biodome's curator of animal collections, said on Friday. "They decided to give it a chance of survival."

Lucky for Goliath because even Pepin acknowledges he would have made quite a meal.

"Until recently, I thought that large lobsters like that were not good to eat but I've been told the contrary by a person from the IGA market," said the curator.

"They said that the problem with the large lobster is that the people overcooked them. That's the reason they find the flesh harder. But they are apparently as good as the smaller ones are."

Goliath is estimated to be between 35 to 50 years old, although Pepin says it's impossible to put an exact age on it because of the way lobsters are built. They don't have bone structures with growth rings, like some animals, that would enable scientists to tell.

It's an American lobster, however, caught in the Northwest Atlantic off the coast of Nova Scotia before it was shipped to Quebec.

Too big for most pots, Goliath's new home is the Biodome's vast St. Lawrence ecosystem basin, far away from forks and hungry diners.

"He's doing pretty well," said Pepin. "He's started eating."

Goliath spent a few days in an isolation tank before being gingerly placed on Thursday in the rocky shored basin of the St. Lawrence ecosystem at the Biodome where visitors can see him.

It will be transferred to the ecosystem's main basin, which contains 2.5 million litres of seawater, in two weeks and once there will be harder for the public to glimpse because it will likely remain on the bottom, hiding from predators amid rocks and in caves.

Goliath won't be lonely once it gets there — the basin is home to 30 other lobsters. Granted, lobsters are territorial by nature.

"He's very large, large claws," Pepin said of the ecosystem's newest resident. "It's a seven-kilogram specimen so pretty rare."

Pepin said Goliath seems healthy — among the indicators are colour and movement — although being noctural, he sits around a lot.

"At this size they are not very active," Pepin explained. "During the day, they tend to remain in caves and they get out during the night and start chasing different prey. They're predators so they feed on fish and other invertebrates."

He wasn't sure how strong Goliath's huge mitts are but said one claw is usually used for crushing and intimidation while the other, smaller one is a cutting tool.

Goliath isn't the biggest of the undersea predators the Biodome has welcomed.

An eight-kilogram lobster — also dubbed Goliath — was donated to the facility in 2008 by a Boston woman who won it in a Super Bowl contest.

The creature was found dead at the bottom of the tank two years later. Old age is believed to be the cause.

Pepin said there are probably more lobsters like Goliath out there but they don't show up that often because they wouldn't easily fall into a fisherman's trap.

He said many lobsters also don't get that big because they fall prey to other sea-going predators when they're young.

The largest of the clawed critters known to date weighed 20 kilograms and measured almost 110 centimetres from the tips of its claws to the end of its tail.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Preview: Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Goslings with some size head for cover Wednesday afternoon on Commerce Drive in Tuxedo Business Park - See Bryksa 30 Goose Challenge- Day 12- May 16, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Two baby tigers were unveiled at the Assiniboine Park Zoo this morning, October 3rd, 2011. (TREVOR HAGAN/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you think e-cigarettes should be banned by the school division?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google