These covid-fighting crustaceans have outlived dinosaurs. Now they are at risk of extinction

Living in the waters of the Atlantic coast, one prehistoric animal has played a key role in the fight against COVID-19.

The horseshoe crab is critical to the safety of human vaccines because its blood contains cells that the biomedical industry uses to test vaccines — including coronavirus jabs — to ensure they are not contaminated with bacteria.

They've existed for hundreds of millions of years. Having outlived the dinosaurs, horseshoe crabs face their ultimate challenge: humans. Loss of habitat and over-farming means that horseshoe crabs are now threatened with extinction.

"They haven't changed in 450 million years", says Laurel Sullivan, education coordinator at the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control's Coastal Programs."There's nothing about them to hurt us with, nothing threatening. They just live their lives."

But the discovery of their life-saving properties has given rise to a huge industry. More than half a million are caught along the United States' east shores every year.

Nevertheless, experts are holding out hope for the future of this life-saving living fossil.

"I think they will make it and they will survive", says Glenn Gauvry, president of the Ecological Research & Development Group. 

"Other testing methods are being developed for medicine and fishermen can use other baits. So the animals are under less pressure."

https://www.euronews.com/2022/07/01/these-covid-fighting-crustaceans-have-outlived-dinosaurs-now-they-are-at-risk-of-extinctio

News

November

25

Rodents to the rescue: Trained rats with hi-tech backpacks could save your life in a disaster
November

25

How the extraction of horse blood is sparking controversy in Iceland
November

22

Australians clueless about their country’s most endangered species
November

22

Cows fed hemp act stoned and produce milk containing THC
November

15

Salmon Farmers’ Antibiotic Contamination Chilling
November

15

Hong Kong Customs detects largest sea smuggling case this year with market value reaching $300 million
November

06

Being Around Birds Boosts Our Mental Well-Being Even 8 Hours After Hearing Them By Andy Corbley -Oct 28, 2022
November

06

Mythbusted: Goldfish Have Great Memories and Are Even Used as a Model Species of Fish Cognition By Andy Corbley -Oct 25, 2022
October

10

Farmed fish feel pain, stress and anxiety and must be killed humanely, global regulator accepts
October

10

Breaking! The European Parliament Votes To Increase Protection Of Endangered Species; Calls For Ending The Illegal Wildlife Trade By 2025