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These Crabs Have Been Crawling Before the Dinosaurs

For the past 200 million years, the American horseshoe crab has roamed our planet. A semiaquatic species, these creatures spend the majority of their time in shallow waters and can be found along the Atlantic coastline of North America. Their ten eyes help them stay oriented while swimming, and their hard shell protects them from turtles and sharks. Horseshoe crabs have long been harvested for their blood, which has helped prevent illnesses around the world. Sadly, due to overharvesting and habitat loss, their populations are quickly dwindling in the wild.


This story is a part of our Planet Earth series. From mammals to insects and birds to reptiles, we share this great big world with all manner of creatures, large and small. Come with us to faraway places as we explore our great big planet and meet some of its wildest inhabitants.

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