Long Live the Lobster: Forever Young?

I imagine you know folks who are in their 80s, maybe in their 90s, who are sharp, lively and very active.

But here's the thing — if you were a lobster, and especially if you were a very old lobster, all your colleagues, or almost all of them, would be sharp as tacks. (Can lobsters be tacks?)

Because, as best scientists can tell, lobsters age so gracefully they show no measurable signs of aging: no loss of appetite, no change in metabolism, no loss of reproductive urge or ability, no decline in strength or health.

Lobsters, when they die, seem to die from external causes. They get fished by humans, eaten by seals, wasted by parasites, but they don't seem to die from within. Of course, no one really knows how the average lobster dies. There are no definitive studies.

So if you click on the audio above, what you hear is a story about lobster aging... by a lobster.

His name is Leroy.

He calls himself The Uninterrupted Lobster because his life so far has been unflaggingly ongoing.

And he sings.

Did I say "sings"?

I did.

Apparently he studied with W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan of Pinafore, Mikado and Penzance fame. So he must be really old.

Truth to tell: The lobster is really Josh Kurz, reporter, singer, formerly of Brooklyn, N.Y. (He has a Web site with his friend Adam, joshadam.com.) The music was composed by Shane Winter, who seems to be able to compose in any mode known to human kind. And the lobster chorus included: Jason Major, Wendy Roderwiess and Harri Mark. And special thanks to Jelle Atema, professor of biology at Boston University's marine program and to NPR"s Radio Lab.

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