The World is full of rare breeds and bizarre stuff, but how often do you hear about an animal that has 10 eyes? Not that often I presume.It’s that time of the year in Delaware Bay when horseshoe crab spawn. Every year in May and June, these animals crawl onto the beach to mate and bury their eggs – far from the world’s humdrum.The practice goes back to 445 million years, and to some extent, these crabs are living fossils, since they’ve survived four mass extinctions. But these crabs are not really crabs – they are distantly related to scorpions and spiders.And speaking of their old age, these are also the pioneers of having sex on the beach. During the epoch when horseshoes were evolving, land animals didn’t exist, thereby, their eggs that were laid on the beach remain safe and evolution persisted.They have 10 eyes and carry the blood that has saved innumerable human lives – including yours. Every single one of them is coloured glossy green brown and shaped like a shallow combat helmet.They also have a six-inch long spine sticking out. Even though they all look alike, the males vary a lot from females – their limbs end in pincers while female carapaces are linked with thousands of pale green eggs.“These animals walked below the legs of brontosaurus at some point in time,” says Conservation ecologist John Tanacredi, director of the Center for Environmental Research and Coastal Oceans Monitoring at Molloy College in New York. “They really should be the paradigm for survival and sustainability.”Unfortunately, these creatures are currently fighting for their existence and they are in peril. In order to protect them, researchers first need to understand their life cycles and how many they are, which is why they’ve flocked the region before these crabs seek exile.
For more news updates Follow and Like us on Facebook