Horseshoe crab

Horseshoe crab

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Credit: ANDREW J. MARTINEZ/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus) on the seabed. This primitive animal is not actually a crab, instead it is more closely related to the spiders. Its body and limbs are hidden beneath its protective carapace. It inhabits the cool waters of the north-western Atlantic. It has remained essentially unchanged in form for over 500 million years, and is considered a "living fossil". It feeds on worms, molluscs and algae on sandy seabeds. It is known for its mass spawning, during which thousands of horseshoe crabs climb the beaches along the north-eastern coast of the USA and Canada to lay their eggs. Photographed in the Gulf of Maine, USA.

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Keywords: american, animal, atlantic, bottom-dwelling, gulf of maine, horizontal, horseshoe crab, invertebrate, invertebrates, limulus polyphemus, living fossil, marine, nature, ocean, primitive, sea, seabed, underwater, usa, wildlife, zoology

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