Horseshoe Crab By Ben Pokorny

Horseshoe crabs look like prehistoric crabs. Their body is divided into three sections, the head, the abdomen, and the telson. Although horseshoe crabs look similar to crabs and lobsters, they are more closely related to scorpions and spiders.

Horseshoe crabs use different habitats depending on what stage of development they are on. They lay eggs along coastal beaches, and when they grow up they are usually found on the ocean floor of tidal flats. Adult horseshoe crabs tend to feed deeper in the ocean.

Horseshoe crabs will usually eat clams and worms. Their eggs are eaten by bird, sea turtles, and many other sea life. Their eggs are an important food source for at least 11 species of migratory shore birds.

The horseshoe crab is a very complex and different creature. While it does have a hard shell, below it is very sensitive. It uses a system of nerves that come from its brain and runs through its entire body.

Horseshoe crab reproduction is between a male and female, and they breed during high tides, new and full moons. On the beach, the female will dig small nests and deposit the eggs.

The conservation status of the horseshoe crab is vulnerable, meaning they are potentially at risk of becoming endangered. Their blood is used constantly for scientific research and they have to be killed in order to be used for the studies.

Their are only 4 species of horseshoe crabs that exist today and only one is found in North America. They are extremely important as a food source and to the biomedical industry because of their unique copper based blue blood, which is constantly used in studies.

In order to survive, horseshoe crabs had to adapt to their surroundings. They got new features including numerous eyes, a hard shell, a special assortment of appendages and an immune-like response to bacteria.

Work Cited:

“YouTube.” YouTube, YouTube, 29 Aug. 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyYHmbmb0gQ. Accessed 6 May 2017.

Medical Daily, 7 May 2014, www.medicaldaily.com/horseshoe-crab-populations-steadily-decrease-their-indespensable-medical-use-threatened-280728. Accessed 6 May 2017.

Writer, Leaf Group. “Horseshoe Crab Adaptations That Have Helped Them Survive.” Animals - mom.Me, Mom.me, 10 Oct. 2016, animals.mom.me/horseshoe-crab-adaptations-helped-survive-7795.html. Accessed 6 May 2017.

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