Halloween lobster finds a home in Boston aquarium

Posted at 11/01/2012 10:54 AM | Updated as of 11/01/2012 10:55 AM

WASHINGTON - A lobster in the black and orange colors of Halloween has taken up residence at the US Aquarium in Boston, just in time for trick-or-treating.

The one-pound (450 gram) female "split" lobster was caught last week in Atlantic waters off Salem, Massachusetts -- the city best known for 17th century witch trials -- and presented to the aquarium over the weekend.

"It's the real thing," aquarium spokesman Tony LaCasse told AFP by telephone Wednesday, referring to the exceptionally rare crustacean that is black down its left side and orange down the right.

Thank to its odd coloring -- which marine biologists believe is the result of a complete cellular split when a lobster egg is fertilized -- it will not wind up in a steaming pot.

Instead, it is expected to go on public display next month, once it clears quarantine at the aquarium where LaCasse said it is "doing well."

"Split lobsters are roughly estimated to occur once in every 50 to 100 million lobsters," the aquarium said on its website (www.neaq.org), adding that this year has seen a larger number than usual of odd-colored lobsters.

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