Why are horseshoe crabs remarkable? Watch this video to learn more about a creature whose ancestors roamed the earth over 450 million years ago.
They might look super creepy, but there’s a lot more to a horseshoe crab than meets the eye.
First off, they’re not even crabs! They’re actually closer cousins to spiders or scorpions.
They’re not dangerous. They don’t have teeth or jaws, and they’re not venomous. Their tails might look scary, but they’re used to help turn the crab back over if it gets flipped upside down on the beach.
Horseshoe crabs are super helpful. Their blood is used to help test medicines, and their eggs are an important food source for birds.
But they need our help. While horseshoe crabs aren’t listed as endangered or threatened, there is concern for their well-being. There’s been a high demand for horseshoe crabs as commercial bait, and they’ve had to deal with habitat loss. It’s a good idea to do what we can to help them out!
Don’t disturb horseshoe crabs if you see them mating or spawning. Participate in surveys, so we can have a better idea of how many horseshoe crabs there are. And if you see a horseshoe crab stuck on its back - flip it over! It’s the least you can do for the creature that’s had your back - no matter how creepy it might look!