While the lobster has been called a scavenger, it actually prefers fresh food, though a whiff of lobster bait might belie that fact. Its diet typically consists of crabs, clams, mussels, worms, and an occasional sea urchin or slow-witted flounder. A lobster may eat up to 100 different kinds of animals, and occasionally eats some plants as well. One large lobster in an aquarium was seen gnawing on the tail of a skate while the fish tried vainly to flutter away. A lobster has been observed catching a crab, dragging it back to its home, and burying it like a dog buries a bone. For the next few nights the lobster snacks on the crab instead of going hunting.
An opportunist, a lobster will also eat another lobster if given the chance. Captive lobsters become especially cannibalistic, which is why they must be banded in a lobster pound or separated in individual compartments in a lobster hatchery. However, cannibalism has not been observed in the wild. Because lobsters eat their molts, it is dangerous to make this inference based on gut content analysis!
Many animals, especially humans, eat lobsters. After humans, cod are probably the lobster's principal enemy, followed by other bottom dwelling fishes, such as flounder, sculpins, wolffish, eels, rock gunnels, crabs, and seals. Even raccoons have been known to raid coastal lobster pounds at low tide.
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