Did you know that horseshoe crabs are helping people survive? Here’s how:
• Crabby Givers: Some people catch horseshoe crabs near shore and take them to laboratories. There people take some blood from each crab before returning it to sea. This doesn’t harm the crabs.
• Lifesaving Blood: The horseshoe crab blood is used to test many liquid medicines—the kind mostly used in hospitals. By testing the medicines with the crab blood, scientists make sure these are safe and don’t contain any harmful bacteria.
• Testing, Testing: For each test, a bit of horseshoe crab blood is mixed with a sample of the medicine. If there is any bacteria in the medicine, the horseshoe crab blood will get lumpy. That means, none of this medicine should be given to people!
So why not say a big "thanks" to the next horseshoe crab you come across!