HORSESHOE CRAB BLOOD. The kids loved the “critters” that are on the shore of Long Island Sound from when they were infants. They especially loved horseshoe crabs from the beginning, even at an age when some of their friends were frightened by their strange appearance. As for me, I had never seen a horseshoe crab until we moved to Connecticut when I was forty, and I always found the sight of a horseshoe crab exciting.
This article by Caren Chesler on the Popular Mechanics website (link via Instapundit) tells about the uses for the blood of horseshoe crabs which give it value. (It’s pleasing to see how valuable horseshoe crab blood is. Chesler gives a price figure figure of up to $14,000 per quart.) The clotting agent in the blood is used to detect dangerous bacteria such as E. coli in injectable drugs such as insulin and hospital instruments such as scalpels and IVs. Chesler says: The clotting agent “is currently the only substance able to detect gamma-negative bacteria in the health field.” She quotes a conservationist: “Every man, woman, and child and domestic animal on this planet that uses medical services is connected to the horseshoe crab.”