The horseshoe crab also known as the horsefoot, king crab, or sauce-pan is a chelicerate arthropod. It is more closely related to spiders, ticks, and scorpions than to crabs. They are most commonly found in the Gulf of Mexico and along the northern Atlantic coast of North America.
Horseshoe crabs have five pairs of book gills located just behind their appendages that allow them to breathe underwater. They can also breathe on land for short periods of time as long as their gills remain wet.
They can grow up to 20 inches (51 cm). They eat molluscs, annelid worms, and other benthic invertebrates. Its mouth is located in the middle of its underside and they use pincers on the side of their mouth to grab food.
- The horseshoe crab has TEN eyes and can see UV light
- They predate flying insects, the dinosaurs and man
- Their blood protects them (and us) from infection
- They are more closely related to spiders and scorpions than to crabs