Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2004

Journal Title

Fauna: Magazine of The International Fauna Society

Version

Publisher's PDF

Abstract

In an era when sports numbers shatter historical ceilings (especially in baseball) and fall by the wayside like fall leaves, a most enduring record of life continues to crawl along emerging from the sea early each spring pronouncing their incredible "record" of existences... over 350 million years. Now there is a number that even the rarified air of baseball salaries can admire. Yet, today the remarkable sea creature which endured over 100 million years of dramatically changing earth history prior to the existence of the dinosaurs, and which is comprised of only four species globally, is being tested for its survivability as at no other time in their known history. Human activites pose the most significant threat to Limulus polyphemus, the only North American horseshoe crab species, and have dramatically impacted the other three species found along the southeastern shore of Asia; so much so that in Japan for example only a few thousand of a single horseshoe crabs species remain.

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