Cam Chadronet, also known as crustaceous_cam on TikTok, shared a horseshoe crab rescue. This unlucky horseshoe crab attempted to eat a clam, but instead, the clam closed down tightly on the claw. Chadronet explains that when clams are this big, they can break off the tip of the horseshoe crab’s claw. He gently removed the claw with caution, making sure not to injure his delicate legs.
Horseshoe crabs eat smaller sea organisms such as worms, clams, crustaceans, algae, and other animals. Because they don’t have teeth, they must crush up their food before eating by using their front legs. They also have a gizzard which allows them to grind up their food even more before eating.
Horseshoe crabs have been on the planet for 445 million years, making them the oldest land animals. They have survived over 12 major extinction events and have copper in their blood (hemocyanin), which is blue and protects them from infection.
Thousands of horseshoe crabs (~500,000) are collected by medical industries every year to have their blood drained while the animals are still fully conscious and alive. Unlike human blood bank systems, horseshoe crabs don’t willingly “donate” 30 percent of their body’s precious fluids. Although the animals are released back to their wild habitat after blood is extracted by injecting needles into their hearts, we wouldn’t involuntarily give up our blood to save other species, so why would they?
Horseshoe crabs have been in existence for over 450 million years and have even survived through three of Earth’s major mass extinctions. Though humans are benefiting from the use of these organisms, ecosystems are not, and the horseshoe crabs certainly don’t appreciate being used.
Lead Image Source : SpastMedia/shutterstock.
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