Ancient Creature with a Futuristic Twist: The Horseshoe Crab's Blue Blood Revolutionizes Medicine

A Living Fossil.

The horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus), an arthropod (coelomate protostome invertebrate animal), boasts characteristics that might suggest it hails from another planet. Pic@extremelyinterestingfacts.

In reality, this ancient creature has been present on Earth for 300 million years, during which time it has never changed its appearance. You may like to read about  Innovative Veterinary Surgery here.

Despite its alien-like features, the horseshoe crab is very much a terrestrial native, residing primarily at the bottom of the seas of North America. Following blood extraction, the animals are released back into the sea.

Extraordinary Anatomy.

With 10 eyes and a body covered in horseshoe-shaped armor, the horseshoe crab's anatomy is as fascinating as it is bizarre. It uses its 8 legs, each equipped with thorns that converge towards the center of its body, to chew its food. 

This unique structure means the horseshoe crab can only eat while walking, a trait that sets it apart from most other creatures.

The Marvel of Blue Blood.

The most captivating feature of the horseshoe crab is its BLUE blood. Beyond its noble appearance, this blue blood contains a reagent capable of detecting bacterial endotoxins, making it highly valuable in the medical field.

Medical Marvel.

The blood of the horseshoe crab is extracted to produce this reagent, which is then used in tests to ensure that products and systems are sterile. 

This process is critical for guaranteeing the safety of medical products, such as vaccines and surgical instruments. 

After the blood is extracted, the horseshoe crabs are released back into their natural habitat, allowing them to continue their crucial role in both their ecosystem and medical science.


Written By  HowNHowTo.Com Team.


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