Can Lobsters Breathe Air?

Lobsters are decapod crustaceans with gills that allow them to breathe air, but they must be kept cool and wet to breathe properly. They can survive a few days out of the water but will eventually die if the gills dry out.

How Does a Lobster Breathe Air?

When a lobster is out of the water, it can still breathe air through its feathery gills. However, the gills must stay moist or they will dry out and the lobster will suffocate. That’s why you often see live lobsters mostly found in aquatic organisms since gills only work in the presence of water.

What are the Lobster’s Gills?

The gills of a lobster are the fuzzy, feathery texture that is located on the underside of the lobster’s base of the cepathorolax (head and thorax).

There are 20 pairs of gills on either side of a lobster’s carapace. The purpose of the gills is to absorb dissolved oxygen from the water and expel carbon dioxide. The gills also control the lobster’s ion levels and pH.

What Do Lobsters Eat?

Their diet consists of marine mussels, crabs, starfish, clams, and sea urchins. They will eat a sea sponge to absorb energy, but they prefer a crab or small fish. The lobsters’ four tiny antennules on the front of their heads and small sensing hairs that cover their bodies are used for hunting.

Lobsters use their ‘crusher claw’ to bash and break open their prey, and their ‘pincer claw’ to tear it apart. They are also able to use both claws simultaneously.


Lobsters can breathe air from the water through their gills. They need to remain in a cool and moist environment to function properly and will eventually die if their gills dry out. When you see a lobster out of the water, it’s best to keep it moist so that it can continue to live.