The Living Fossil
By: Aiden Funk
Horseshoe crabs do not have hemoglobin in their blood. Instead they have he moccasin because of the copper present in the hemocyanin. In a result their blood is blue. The blood is not just call because it is blue it actually has lots of uses. The blood contains amebocytes which plays a role similar to white bloods cells of vertebrates in defending the organism against pathogens. The blood is used in medical applications . Therefore the Horseshoe crab blood is harvested for a purpose. Horseshoe crab blood is used in a lot of vaccines like the flu shot and rabies vaccinations that your give to your pets. So you probably have a fare share of Horseshoe crab blood inside of you. You should thank the Horseshoe crabs for giving their blood to your family and your pets. But the only problem is that Horseshoe crab blood is very expencive at a staggering $15,000. In most circumstances when taking the blood out of a Horseshoe crab they only take a fraction of the blood and put the Horseshoe crabs back into the sea. Most of the Horseshoe crabs survive in this process. This is so they don't kill off all the Horseshoe crab population. First the people capture the Horseshoe crabs and put them on a boat or catch them in a net. Then they clean them off and put them in a bucket. After that they strap the Horseshoe crabs to a wall so they can't move. After that the workers cut off the tail of the Horseshoe crabs and put a straw inside the Horsecrabs body to get the blood out. Horseshoe crabs are important because their blood is very useful. Horseshoe crab blood fight bacteria. Only 1/3 of blood is taken out of a Horseshoe crab. People take blood out of half a million Horseshoe crabs a year. The whole process of catching the Horseshoe crab, taking the blood out the Horseshoe crab, and releasing the Horseshoe crabs takes from 24 hours to 72 hours.