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An upside-down American Horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus) is trying to right itself with its telson, or tail. This is not a defensive weapon, but is a tool for the arthropod. They are harmless to humans, and in fact crucial to us. We bleed them for their blue blood, for their hemocyanin, which contains amebocyte and lysate, used for detecting bacterial endotoxins in human patients.
Once widespread in ancient seas, only a few live in the modern world. We abuse them by over harvesting, bleeding them, tossing the survivors back upside-down, and using them as fertilizer and fish bait. Slipper Limpets, seen here, commonly attach themselves to Horseshoe crabs.
- DSC_3924J_Horseshoe Crab Telson©JMacCausland.jpg
- Janet MacCausland
- Image Size
- 3872x2592 / 5.3MB
Horseshoe crab (Limulus Polyphemus) Arthropod King Crab Arachnid scorpion and spider family shed exoskeleton ancient blue blood hemocyanin amebocyte lysate detecting bacterial endotoxins Once widespread in ancient seas only a few live in the modern world. Fertilizer bait Harmless Telson (tail) Slipper limpets lateral compound eyes night vision American Horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus) tail telson turned over Shallows estuary © Janet MacCausland Ninigret Wildlife Refuge Rhode Island USA underside mouth upside-down bent bend hinged
- Contained in galleries
- Arthropod - Aquatic