William The Coroner’s Forensic Files

Monday, 23, May, 2011

Blue Bloods

Filed under: Natural History — williamthecoroner @ 12:32

I’ve always had a soft spot for the horseshoe crab.  Limulus polyphemus, a living fossil, this beast has compound eyes, blue blood (it uses hemocyanin  for oxygen transport) and has been trucking right along since the late Ordovician period, unchanged for 250 million years.    Amoebacytes in their blood coagulate  in the presence of  bacterial endotoxin, and is widely used to test for bacterial contamination in injectable medicationsAccording to this article, liquid crystal droplets could replace horseshoe crab blood in a test for bacterial endotoxin.


  1. I’m torn — will people be as willing to protect these creatures if they don’t have any human use [other than as bait]?

    Comment by rethoryke — Tuesday, 24, May, 2011 @ 15:09 | Reply

  2. I love these creatures. One of my early memories is of Daddy and me moving about 2 dozen of them off the road as we were on our way to the beach. Mom thought that they were creepy but I was fascinated. This would have been in the mid 60’s.

    Comment by samky — Tuesday, 24, May, 2011 @ 18:47 | Reply

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