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'One-in-30-million' rare orange lobster caught in Maine only has one claw

"One in 30 million" orange lobster caught in Maine
"One in 30 million" orange lobster caught in Maine 00:19

BIDDEFORD, Maine - A truly unique catch has found a home at the University of New England.

The college in Maine has added an orange lobster to its collection - and says the chances of catching a lobster of that color are one in 30 million. And this rare find, who doesn't have a name yet, only has one claw.

"My Captain says he's only seen 2 in his lifetime and the first time no-one [believed] him, but here she is!" said Mandy Cyr, who was on the boat in Casco Bay Friday with Capt. Gregg Turner when the catch was made.

It's not the first special lobster to avoid the dinner table and arrive at the University of New England. In 2021, a "one in 50 million" split-colored lobster was donated by a Maine seafood company. And a rare yellow lobster named "Banana" joined the school earlier in the year. 

Banana was also a one-clawed, or "cull," lobster. This new lobster probably lost her claw in a fight with another lobster or fish, researchers say.

The orange lobster University of New England

"We plan to document the regrowth of this lobster's claw in real time, something we've only done once before with Banana, our female yellow lobster," Lab coordinator Lindsay Forrette said in a statement. "Rare lobsters, like this brilliant orange one caught by Turner's Lobsters, are excellent ambassadors for education because they spark so much curiosity. Sharing these amazing animals with our students and visitors is a special opportunity that wouldn't be possible without the Maine lobstering community all along the coast."

The school says a lobster's color is likely determined by "a combination of genetic and environmental factors."

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