Lobster is a large marine CRUSTACEAN with five pairs of
jointed legs, the first pair bearing large pincerlike
claws of equal size adapted for crushing the shells of
its prey. The dark-green common American lobster (Homarus
americanus) is found from Labrador to North Carolina,
but especially along the New England coast.
Long ago, lobsters were so plentiful that Native Americans
used them to fertilize their fields and to bait their
hooks for fishing. In colonial times, lobsters were considered
"poverty food." They were harvested from tidal pools and
served to children, to prisoners, and to indentured servants,
who exchanged their passage to America for seven years
of service to their sponsors. In Massachusetts, some of
the servants finally rebelled. They had it put into their
contracts that they would not be forced to eat lobster
more than three times a week.