Sunday, October 7, 2012

Horseshoe Crab

The Life of Animals | Horseshoe Crab | The whole body of the horseshoe crab is protected by a hard shell. Horseshoe crabs are normally swim backward inclined approximately 30 ° with respect to. Juveniles grow about 33% larger with each molt until they reach adult size. During the breeding season, horseshoe crabs migrate to coastal waters. Males select a female and cling to his back. The female digs a hole in the sand and lay their eggs while the male fertilizes them. Many waders eat eggs to hatch. Eggs take about two weeks hatch. It proved difficult to raise horseshoe crabs in captivity. There are reasons to believe that mating occurs only in the presence of sand or clay, in which the horseshoe crab eggs hatch.

Unlike mammals, horseshoe crabs, the hemoglobin in the blood, but instead use hemocyanin to carry oxygen. Because of the presence of copper in hemocyanin, their blood blue. Their blood contains amoebocytes which plays a role similar to that of white blood cells of vertebrates to defend the body against pathogens. L. polyphemus amebocyte blood used for the preparation of Limulus amebocyte lysate, which is used to detect bacterial endotoxins. Harvesting Horseshoe crab blood involves collecting and bleeding the animals and release them into the sea most of the animals survive the process, mortality related to both the amount of blood from a particular animal, and experience stress during handling and transport.

Horseshoe crabs are used as bait to fish for eel (U.S. in particular) and Whelks. However, the horseshoe crab temporarily prohibited in New Jersey (moratorium on farm) and limited to men in Delaware. It is assumed that the low population of horseshoe crabs in the Delaware Bay threatening the future of the red ribbon.  

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