Meredith C. Swartwout, Ph.D. Candidate, Biological Sciences
Dried Mount Oceanic Specimen
The Horseshoe Crab is an ancient organism whose ancestors have been around since before the dinosaurs. You can find them on some beaches in North America and Asia when they come up to breed in massive numbers. Horseshoe crabs are useful to people because their blood contains a unique compound called LAL that can be used in pharmaceuticals and thousands of horseshoe crabs donate their blood to science every year. With the development of new COVID-19 vaccines, horseshoe crab blood may be in greater demand than ever for testing that all the new vaccines are safe and free of toxins, leading to concerns about loss of American horseshoe crab populations and how that might affect the ecosystem .
University of Arkansas Museum
Object Accession Number
horseshoe crab, pharmaceuticals, covid-19, vaccines, conservation, ecosystem, marine animal, zoology