The slipper lobster is a very strange looking animal that lives in warm oceans around the world. They are closely related to the lobster but they are instantly recognizable by the flattened plates on their snout that serve as antennae. They have plates of armour, much like other lobsters that provide them with defense from predators. Slipper lobsters are slow moving and they lack the ability to flick their tail rapidly enough to outswim predators. Instead, they flatten themselves against the bottom or retreat into crevices and under rocks and coral. They can exists at depths up to 500m (1500 feet) beneath the surface. Their main food is mollusks such as limpets mussels and oysters. Slipper lobsters have a tough exoskeleton that must be shed by molting in order for the lobster to grow. They form a new shell under the old one and the older shell splits. The lobster works its way out of the old shell and then it uses water to swell the skin cells to make the soft shell larger. They lack the large claws that the maritime lobster possesses. They have strong jaws which they use to crack the shells of small animals. Slipper lobsters are now commonly eaten and they are commercially harvested. As other lobsters have become more difficult to find, slipper lobsters have become a more popular food source. Due to overfishing, the slipper lobster is also much more difficult to find on the reefs now.
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