Ancient Eyes in the Surf

 

Some years ago I spent a wonderful ten days on an island nature reserve in the Gulf of Mexico. It was the first time that I saw horseshoe crabs. Everything about them spoke of ‘ancient’. Indeed they have been around for over three hundred and fifty million years.

But in the world of these horseshoe crabs there is now a problem; they are harvested for a property in their blood. Their blood is strange in that it is copper based. Scientists utilize this property to test for the presence of bacteria.

In the past these crabs were harvested in their millions for processing into animal feed and fertilizer.

Horseshoe crabs still come into the shallows of the waters of the Gulf of Mexico – but in far fewer numbers now. 

(Extract from the book – Planet Dancing.)

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