- Horseshoe crabs are disappearing off Odisha’s coast.
- Horseshoe crabs are marine and brackish water arthropods of the family.
- Despite their name, they are not true crabs or crustaceans, they are chelicerates, most closely related to arachnids such as spiders, ticks, and scorpions.
- Horseshoe crabs live primarily in and around shallow coastal waters on soft, sandy or muddy bottoms.
- They are generally found in the intertidal zone at spring high tides.
- This is the oldest living creature on earth.
- Palaeontological studies say the age of horseshoe crabs is 450 million years.
- The creature has lived on earth without undergoing any morphological change.
- The blood of this crab is very important for the preparation of rapid diagnostic reagents.
- All injectable medicines are tested on them.
- A molecule has been developed from a reagent of horseshoe crab to help treat pre-eclampsia.
The species is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List specifically because of overexploitation and loss of critical habitat.
SOURCE: THE HINDU, THE ECONOMIC TIMES, PIB