Lobster cannibals: Surge in Maine lobsters leads to changed behavior.

Lobster Cannibals Rise off Maine Coast

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March 31 2015 1:15 PM

Lobster Cannibals Rise off Maine Coast

It turns out even lobsters like lobster.

In warming waters off the coast of Maine, lobsters are thriving, leading to a record 104-million-pound haul for local fishermen in 2011. But the newfound population density has also apparently led large lobsters to dine on their smaller brethren at night, according to a graduate student who captured the cannibalism on an infrared camera.

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Although lobsters confined to small spaces are known to attack each other, such behavior is rare in the wild. “It's never been observed just out in the open like this,” the graduate student told Reuters.

And the phenomenon may well spread: Overfishing of cod and other natural predators means that lobsters will likely continue to breed in historic numbers in Maine waters.  

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