Do Lobsters Have Gills?

What about lobsters’ lungs? If not, how do they stay alive while perched atop a mound of seaweed in the cooler during the lengthy drive from Maine?

A senior biologist at the Lobster Conservancy in Friendship, Maine named Diane Cowan noted that lobsters have gills rather than lungs. As long as the gills are cool and moist, she explained, they “remove oxygen from seawater and from the air, too.”

Each of the 10 legs on a lobster’s body, including the large front pair of claws, is equipped with one of five pairs of gills.

The gill is the fuzzy gray component that is removed with the lobster leg when it is being eaten, according to Dr. Cowan.

She explained that while lobsters’ gills function best in seawater, if they are maintained in seawater containers without any aeration, they will quickly run out of oxygen and die. It is essential to carry lobsters in containers free of any standing water because of this.

Dr. Cowan proposed packing lobsters in bath towels that had been submerged in seawater for travel. She sets them next to a complete frozen chicken or turkey to keep them chilly and decrease their metabolism so they need less oxygen. Additionally, she packs them so that they don’t move about inside the box.

How much time can a lobster spend submerged?

If the water is clean, has the appropriate salt concentration, and is appropriately aerated, it can stay in the water for as long as it wants.

Due to their complete adaptation to breathing underwater, lobsters typically spend their entire lives underwater.

Lobsters have feathery gills at the base of each leg, which are located inside their gill chamber1. Their legs have apertures that allow water to enter the gill chamber, and their mouth has an entrance that allows water to exit2. A respiratory appendage that resembles a paddle moves water across the gills1.


Sarah – Simple no is the response. Water is where lobsters have evolved to dwell. They exchange gases through their gills, and if they are out of water for an extended period of time, they will really perish. However, they can survive for a short period of time. Crabs, who are their near relatives, may really last a little while without water, however fish will perish since they will practically suffocate. Their gills draw oxygen from the water when they are submerged, but when you remove them out of the water, the surface tension of the water causes the gills to collapse, which prevents them from working and preventing them from drawing oxygen from the water.

Some fish, such as lungfish, have evolved air breathing mechanisms because they must be able to survive in environments where rivers occasionally dry up. Because they keep their gills in chambers on the undersides of their bodies, crabs and lobsters—though not as much as crabs—can really exist in air for a while. In reality, they do not breathe air. The most crucial part is that they have figured out how to support and keep their gills moist while still using them.

There is a type of crab called the coconut crab that has evolved what is known as a brancheostegal lung. This spongy tissue resembles lungs and gills and will exchange gases with the air, but it still needs to be maintained moist. Even though lobsters have gills in their chambers, they still need water. As long as their gills are kept moist, they can therefore exist in air. They also have a component known as the “gill bailer,” which has the nicest name of all: a scaphognathite. This component aids in maintaining water flow through the gills. They won’t drown in water, but they will suffocate if they’re on air.

The way that lobsters breathe.

1. Invertebrates such as lobsters, crabs, and insects are included under the phylum Arthropoda. They have ten jointed legs, hence the term “decapod,” and they have ten legs in total. Instead of internal bones, lobsters have an exoskeleton that serves as protective body armor. Due to their limited vision, lobsters use their two antennae as a sense of touch to assess their surroundings.

Two distinct claws serve two different functions in lobsters. The pincher claw, which tends to be smaller and is used to tear food apart, is the other claw. The crusher claw is used to crush shellfish and other prey. “Swimmerettes” are a feature of lobsters that are located along the tail. The microscopic hairs on the swimmerettes of females serve as an attachment point for eggs. n.d. (Lobster Institute). Legs, claws, and antennae can all grow back in lobsters. A lobster might occasionally self-amputate a claw to get away from a danger. (Dog, n.d.)

Three stomachs are present in lobsters. the front, middle, and back guts. To break down food into tiny pieces, the foregut has a collection of grinding teeth. The food next moves to the midgut, where more digestion occurs. Any item that is too big will exit the body through the anus and the hindgut.

The gills on a lobster are twenty pairs. These gills are shielded in the gill chamber and are composed of filaments that resemble feathers. The air and water are both oxygenated via the gills. The lobster’s legs have holes that allow water to flow over its gills and up toward its head. The current will reverse in order to flush junk out of the chambers.

Biology and Anatomy

Lobsters belong to the order Arthropoda (which also includes shrimp, crabs, barnacles, and insects.) The Latin term “arthro,” which means jointed, and the Greek word “poda,” which means foot, are the roots of the word “arthropoda.” As a result, you’ll see that the lobster has jointed appendages and that it has ten legs since decapods, which lobsters are, are Greek for ten (five pairs).

Lobsters are invertebrate crustaceans with no internal skeleton or bones and a hard outer shell, or exoskeleton.

The neurological system of the lobster is quite simple. In actuality, it resembles an insect’s nervous system the most. Insects and lobsters both lack brains. In addition, compared to humans, lobsters and other invertebrates have only about 100,000 neurons.

Blood from a lobster is often clear or gray in hue. It is moved through a few sizable blood vessels by a heart that is situated right beneath the stomach. The gills, which are located in the lobster’s thoracic region, allow it to absorb oxygen from the water.

Here are the fundamental components of a lobster and what they do:

  • The region of the abdomen that is referred to as the “tail.”
  • Tactile organs with a sense of touch are antennae.
  • Antennules are chemosensors that work like a human nose in that they have a sense of smell.
  • The cephalothrax’s exterior covering is called a carapace.
  • Cephalothorax — includes the head and thorax portions — together they are generally called the “body”
  • The biggest of the claws, the chelipod (crusher claw), has a rounded surface ideal for smashing prey like shellfish.
  • The smaller, sharper, more pointed claw, known as the chelipod (ripper or pincher claw), is employed to tear apart food.
  • Compound eyes in the eye create a sensation of sight.
  • Mandible — jaw-like structure for crushing and swallowing food
  • Maxillipeds are the lobster’s mouthpieces, which are flat plates that allow food to reach the mandible.
  • Pereiopods (walking legs) – The two pairs of walking legs that are immediately below the claws are mostly used for walking but also include numerous “taste” receptors and are utilized for catching and eating food.
  • Pleopods, also referred to as “swimmerets.” has minute hairs. The hairs on females are a little bit longer and serve as the location where eggs are attached.
  • the main tail fin, Telson
  • Uropods — the outer pairs of tail fins

A lobster’s gills are located where?

Lobsters breathe using gills. Their gills are feathery, blood-filled structures that draw oxygen out of the water. The lobster’s legs’ bases are where the gills are located. The blood carries oxygen as it moves from the gills to other bodily areas. The gills of lobsters circulate water similarly to how our respiratory system circulates air when we breathe in order to maintain a consistent supply of oxygen.

A lobster can it breathe outside of water?

If housed in a cold, moist environment, a lobster can survive for a number of days without its water source. How is it that a lobster can survive so long without water? A lobster’s gills must remain moist in order for it to be able to take oxygen from the air; otherwise, they would dry out.

If so, do they scream?

To begin with, when lobsters are boiled, they do not scream. In fact, they are biologically incapable of producing a scream since they lack lungs and other necessary organs. Air and steam are escaping from the shells of their cooking meals, which is what you can hear.