American lobsters have two powerful claws — a crusher and a ripper — which should be kept banded to prevent injury to other lobsters or the cook. The meatiest part of the animal is the tail, though claws, knuckles, body and small walking legs offer meat, too. American lobsters are found in the North Atlantic from Labrador to North Carolina. Major producers are Atlantic Canada, Maine and Massachusetts, in that order. The lobsters are harvested from depths of 15 to 1,000 feet in rectangular, wire-mesh traps. Market sizes range from “chickens” (1 to 1 1/8 pound) to jumbos (over 3 1/2 pounds). A pound of meat can be extracted from four to six lobsters weighing 1 to 1 1/4 pounds. A lobster sheds its shell annually, revealing a soft new one underneath. Though the newly molted lobster is much larger, its meat is watery and flaccid. New-shells offer lower meat yields than hardshells (30 to 45 percent vs. 55 percent).