This is a horseshoe crab. Ugly as blue mud, ain’t it?
I know if you have spent much time on the beach, you’ve seen some of these critters. They are prehistoric looking, wouldn’t you say, but they are important little creatures–more important than you know. I’ve collected a few facts about them you may find interesting. For one, they have blue blood. (and you thought you were important) And since they are true blue bloods they are protected by the royal families of the world…..NO, NO, NO, not true. ha ha ha. They have blue blood for some scientific reason that I can’t explain. (Go on line and find out, if you really want to know) Still, these critters are very important, their blood clots only in the presence of endotoxins. Their blood enables the detection of bacterial endotoxins in intravenous drugs and medical equipment. Wow! and you thought ugly meant useless, well, we learn something new every day-don’t we. (I know there’s an analogy in there somewhere) Another little fact about the horseshoe crab–females are much larger and they too (like the sea turtle) lays it’s eggs in the sand. Momma horseshoe crab lays over 60,000 at a time.
Ah yes, the analogy–like Forest Gump always said “Pretty is as pretty does,” now I will look at the ugly horseshoe crab with new respect and consider the beautiful things they do for our world.
Oh yes, once their blood is harvested, they are released back into the wild. Good scientist, good boy–now sit.