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horseshoe crab

11 Jun

an encounter with this lovely creature. and its a female. i’m holding it btw! its abt 12-13 cm at its widest point.

horseshoe crabs. they dont sting, they dont bite, and no, they dont poke with their long tails. but they are strong. they use their tails to flip themselves.

the anatomy is pretty amazing! they have many ‘claws’. the first pair is used for feeding. the second pair shows the gender (and of course for mating purposes). the remaining ones for movement.

they have 9 pairs of eyes all along the front. and light receptors on its tail.

their famous blue blood is caused by haemocyanin (containing copper) instead of haemoglobin (containing iron – which is what we have). HSC blood also contains this clotting agent which immediately reacts when in contact with proteins released by bacteria. pharmaceuticals use this to test their products with ease.

anyway, these arent crabs, like the name suggests. they are related to a group of organisms called trilobites. now extinct. i took this pic off google.

so now, their closest living relative are spiders.

horseshoe crabs…… still living in the coasts of singapore. pls dont hold them by their tails if you spot one, because HSCs cant do anything without their tail.

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Posted by on June 11, 2009 in i-Bio

 

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