A lobster love story

Tank the California spiny lobster

Many apologies for the oddly lit photo, but this is the best I could do since I don’t own photoshop, much less know how to use it. So this photo will have to serve as the introduction to Tank, the California spiny lobster that lives at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. The first spiny lobster I met and fell in love with.

In many ways, this photo doesn’t do justice to Tank’s size, bright red coloring and sheer awesomeness. According to the placards posted in the aquarium, he’s 13 pounds. The length isn’t mentioned, but I’m guessing at least two feet, probably longer.

Most of the time when I stop by to see Tank, he usually is just sitting in the far right hand corner hanging out. But this time he was standing up right pawing the glass as if he was trying to escape. I’m sure he would rather be back in the open ocean and captivity is a bit of a bummer for him. But his sacrifice is helping educate the thousands of school children who visit Cabrillo every year to learn about Southern California’s ocean.

The California spiny lobster is so much cooler than its Maine cousins, yet much less well known.  They hang out in large groups on the ocean floor, while their Maine cousins fight to the death over territories. And no claws! The California spiny lobster is more friendly in every way.

If you live in Southern California, I highly recommend visiting Cabrillo and meeting Tank yourself. He is worth the drive.


  1. JNapoli says

    As a native New Englander, I take great exception to the demotion of my Maine lobsters to second-class status, but when a woman is in love, there is nothing much I can do.

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