A Horseshoe crab has probably saved your life!
An amazing and interesting video how the Horseshoe crab probably saved your life using its unique blue blood! video showing you the unique
What is a horseshoe crab?
A horseshoe crab is a marine arthropod. The crabs live in shallow ocean waters in the mud or sand. The horseshoe crab has a distinct horseshoe-shaped shell, covering most of their body! Believe it or not these special crabs originate from over 450million years ago, they are considered a living fossil!
When it comes to mating the Horseshoe comes on shore, once its done its business 😉 it pops back off into the sea.
Lets talk crab eyes, it’s about to get weird!
So how does the horseshoe crab see? Let me tell you…
For starters, the crab has 2 main compound lateral eyes which consist of about 1000 ommatidia.
Next a pair of median eyes, these are used to see ultraviolet light and visible light, a single endoparietal and a pair of rudimental lateral eyes!
Wait there’s more!
The horseshoe crab also has a pair of ventral eyes located near its mouth parts, also a cluster of photoreceptors on the telson.
I’m not done yet!
Finally the Horseshoe crab has 5 additional eyes on top of its shell!
Guess what? Despite all these eyes the crab has relatively poor eyesight!
Now to the exciting bit, the Horseshoe crabs life-saving blue blood!
The Horseshoe crab doesn’t have haemoglobin in its blood like you or I do, instead the crab uses hemocyanin to carry oxygen.
So why is it blue? Well the hemocyanin has copper present, causing the crabs blood to be blue!
You said its blue blood is special!
Well yes it really is, and has saved millions of lives including yours probably!
Why? The horseshoe crabs blue blood contains amebocytes, somewhat similar to white blood cells in humans.
Once the blue blood has been harvested from the crab the amebocytes are used to create limulus amebocyte lysate.
This special compound is used in medical applications such as detecting bacterial endotoxins.
Its blood is highly antibacterial and is used in the production of vaccines, and the cleaning of surgical equipment prior to surgery.
Very special indeed!
The Horseshoe crab is very special and needs protecting.
As you have read, this crabs blue blood helps us humans out a great deal and has saved millions of lives for decades.
We need to look after these crabs and make sure we don’t over fish them or harm their environments.
Like this video on how the Horseshoe crab probably saved your life? Leave me a comment below 🙂