As we explore the depths of the sea, and learn more about the creatures that call it home, it’s no surprise that we are continually making new and exciting discoveries. Some are huge, such as the newly discovered “Rice’s Whale” in the Gulf of Mexico. Others are less than two pounds but no less impressive, like Banana, the yellow lobster!
Banana and her vibrant yellow shell have surprised even the experts. In 2017, the New England Aquarium estimated the odds of a lobster being born yellow as 1 in 30 million. Banana isn’t the first to be found, but she’s undoubtedly a rare specimen. Researchers at the University of New England’s Marine Science Center in Biddeford, Maine were happy to have her, and for good reason! Banana’s discovery may help with their ongoing research, which investigates the impact of climate change on the Gulf of Maine. She also helps shed light on the spectrum of colors that lobsters naturally inhabit — from red, to blue, to yellow and even multicolored!
While Banana and her unique looks may be appreciated in the lab, that’s not necessarily the case in the wild. Her yellow shell is the result of a condition known as leucism, which makes her more visible, and thus more vulnerable, to predators. Banana was found in Tenant’s Harbor by local lobsterman Marley Babb, who made a trip of over 100 miles to donate Banana to her new home at UNE.
The National Science Foundation has recently lent support to the University of New England’s Marine Science Center, in the form of a generous grant shared with three other research laboratories studying New England’s ocean climate. Learn more about their continuing research at their official site here!
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