X is for Xiphosura

Horseshoe Crab family: Limulidae, Suborder: Xiphosurida, Order: Xiphosura

In America they are found on the Atlantic coast and Gulf of Mexico. Their blood is blue, not that they are aristocrats but warriors who have survived for over 300 million years.  This blood contains amebocytes and is drained by the pharmaceutical industry to produce limulus amebocyte lysate (LAL) which can detect baterial endotoxins. Horseshoe crabs are not really crabs but arthropods.

A video about the Horseshoe crabs and how they are used via You Tube:


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