Horseshoe Crab An Ancient wonder

With the tail it look more dangerous than it were and the downside looks like alien mouth, definitely strangers won’t touch it. The tail just assist the creature swimming, acting like rudder and flip when they’re upside down.

Definitely they look very alienated than other animal seen around here.These Horseshoes crabs (Tachypleus gigas) are one of two living fossil that I know exist in Langkawi. Horseshoe crabs are more similar to Trilobit and another one is nautilus (even only shell I encounter few times by the beach side) come from the Cephalopod fossils. The horseshoe crab or local malay name Belangkas are not related to crab at all. These ancient creatures are more close to scorpion or tick.

How did this creature manage to survive more than 400 million years without changing a bit?

The secret lies in the blood. Most animals now are iron base giving us red color of blood but horseshoe crab are copper base making the blood look more blue color when oxygenated. The blood contain a very special ingredient making it immune to bacteria. If let say the horseshoe crab injured, the blood quickly clot and kill all the bacteria that try to contaminated them. In the 1960’s, Dr. Frederik Bang, a Johns Hopkins researcher working at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts discovers the usage of horseshoe crab in medical industries. Now most pharmaceutical company use horseshoe crab blood to test either their drug contaminated with any bacteria or not. Or else our medicine will kill us!!

Nov 2006, NASA create a breakthrough by testing their mini lab that use horseshoe crab blood to save astronaut life from any bacteria contamination in the space shuttle. This will help us a lot during long journey example to Mars and also can determine either is there’s any living microbes in space.. This simple yet very efficient animal does teach us a lot on survival.

Lifespan up to 24-31 years with the diet on worms, mollusks, and sometimes even seaweed. Fisherman catch it for egg but in Thailand, Vietnam until to Japan they eat it as delicacy.