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Monday, December 5, 2011

Somebody Went to the Ocean, and All...

... I got was to see a Horseshoe Crab shell. But that's OK. I'd never seen one in real life before.

horseshoe crab

I didn't realize how big they are! They also aren't really crabs. They are arthropods, closely related to spiders, but even more closely related to the extinct trilobites. This isn't my picture (it came from Miss Pegasus), but it shows what's under the shell of a live one.

There sure isn't much agreement on line about how many pairs of legs they have, but I think the correct answer is 6 pairs. They use the small ones for eating, the next set for mating, and the other 4 sets for walking.

horseshoe crab

The tail is very important because they can use it to turn over if they get flipped. So a horseshoe crab with a broken tail could be in serious trouble.

I hope I get to see one in real life sometime! I bet lots of you have seen them. They are found around the world, at the ocean.

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Ratty said...

I've never even seen an old shell of a horseshoe crab before, and I'm sure I'll most likely never get to see a live one, so this is kind of an amazing sight to me. I've seen them on TV, but I don't think I've ever known another person who has seen this much. I like both pictures a lot.

rainfield61 said...

I have seen them in real, they are very common over here.

john bain said...

Never seen one before. Not too bothered if I don't see one in the flesh, or shell. I suppose it's Mum thought it was lovely. :-)

Secondary Roads said...

What a curious creature--and huge!

Elvirah said...

Never i've seen such a thing in my life and it looks really creepy. Ofcourse the shell is something fascinating to me. I didn't know that these creatures have a big shell like that.

Sharkbytes said...

Ratty- the animal kingdom is fascinating. There are so many things we'll never get to see!

rainfield- very interesting. Do they just crawl around the beaches?

John- I doubt that their mothers pay any attention to them

Chuck- I sure never thought they got that large!

Elvirah- they do look creepy, but they don't bite or sting or anything.

Ann said...

quite interesting and a little creepy looking :)

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