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Fiona, rare yellow lobster, finds a home at a Canadian aquarium

July 18, 2009 | 12:15 pm

Fiona the yellow lobster

We told you last month about a lobster so rare she's being called a one-in-30-million specimen.  What makes Fiona, as she was dubbed by restaurant owner Nathan "Nick" Nickerson, unique?  She's believed to be an almost-unheard of yellow lobster, a genetic mutation which would have been a detriment to her in the wild. (Because her coloration is so much brighter than that of most lobsters, she'd be easy for a predator to spot; in fact, it's a bit of a mystery how she survived as long as she did before she was caught.)

Nickerson, who owns an Eastham, Mass., restaurant called Arnold's Lobster and Clam Bar, knows a thing or two about undersea creatures. A friend caught Fiona while fishing off Canada's Prince Edward Island and gave her to Nickerson as a gift. For a time, the vividly colored lobster was a resident of the seafood restaurant, but Nickerson was quick to point out that he had no intention of serving her as food. Instead, she shared a lobster tank with a lot of lobsters that weren't so lucky, serving as a conversation piece and a mascot of sorts. 

But Nickerson never planned to keep her forever; instead, he announced his intention to donate her to a museum or aquarium. Recently, Fiona moved back to Canada and into the Huntsman Marine Science Centre in the province of New Brunswick. (She's pictured above giving a television "interview" for a New Brunswick news station.)

At the Huntsman, she lives in the company of two other lobsters charmingly named Old Blue and Big Dee-Dee. Big Dee-Dee is something of a celebrity crustacean herself; the alarmingly large lobster tops the scales at about 22 pounds and made headlines in Canada when she was caught last year in the Bay of Fundy. Aquarium staff keep the three lobsters separated by glass, though, over fears that Fiona's bright color might set off a fight. (After the jump, another photo of Fiona with Old Blue in her new home.)

Fiona the yellow lobster

-- Lindsay Barnett

Top photo: Fiona joins two young New Brunswick residents for a TV interview. Credit: Hunstman Marine Science Centre

Bottom photo: Fiona (center) with Old Blue (left) and a "normal" lobster.  Credit: Hunstman Marine Science Centre

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