Horseshoe Crab Specimen
Horseshoe crabs are fascinating creatures that have been around for approximately 450 million years, making them one of the oldest species on the planet. Despite their name, horseshoe crabs are not true crabs, but are more closely related to spiders and scorpions. They have a hard exoskeleton and a distinctive horseshoe-shaped shell that provides them with protection and support.
Horseshoe crabs are found in shallow coastal waters and along sandy beaches in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. They play a crucial role in the ecosystem as they are a primary food source for shorebirds and other marine animals. Their eggs are also an important food source for many animals, including fish, turtles, and birds.
One of the most interesting features of horseshoe crabs is their blue blood, which is highly valuable to the medical industry. The blood contains a unique compound called Limulus amoebocyte lysate (LAL), which is used to test for bacterial contamination in vaccines, surgical equipment, and other medical devices. This has led to horseshoe crabs being harvested for their blood, which can be a threat to their populations.
Horseshoe crabs have also been the subject of research in the field of biotechnology, as their eyes are highly sensitive to light and can detect even the faintest amounts of light. Scientists have studied the structure of their eyes to develop new technology for detecting bacteria in food and water. Overall, horseshoe crabs are fascinating creatures that have a unique place in the ecosystem and continue to provide valuable insights into the natural world.
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SKU: CP - Horseshoe Crab Specimen