As I mentioned before, the horseshoe crab is a rather frightening looking creature, however quite the opposite is true, they are the steadfast, strong member of the ocean community. This animal, not only is a vital part of the Atlantic coast food chain, but has remained rather unchanged since before the time of the dinosaurs!
An animal that has been in existence since before the dinosaurs is quite impressive and the main reason I have gotten my 4 year old nephew to learn and love saying the scientific name for the Atlantic Horseshoe Crab, Limulus polyphemus. The “polly-femus” part always cracks him up.
But, seriously, they have remained relatively unchanged and evolved little in 260 million years!
How have they managed this impressive feat?
First of all, it is very difficult for predators to get overturn their tough curved shell and get into the crux of their underbelly!
Secondly, they can go a year without food!
Lastly, they are adaptable and can endure the harshest conditions (temperature and ocean salt levels)!
But we’ve only scratched the surface here. Check back often at beachchairscientist.com for more insight about your favorite beach discoveries.