Horseshoe crabs – arthropods got their name because of the spike back – almost unchanged for 450 million years. This group experienced five mass extinctions, including the Permian-Triassic extinction event 250 million years ago that killed 96 percent of all marine species. Surprisingly, this year in Japan died of horseshoe crabs is much more than usual. According Remliel, why it happened, scientists do not know, but it is possible that a human was to blame.
Since the horseshoe crabs for the last hundreds of millions of years, almost did not change (at least outwardly), they are called living fossils. Indeed, live horseshoe crabs in appearance do not differ from those found in sediments.
Each year, horseshoe crabs crawl ashore from the Japanese city of Kitakyushu to lay their eggs. Typically, from about two thousand couples got out to the shore birds are killed 50-60 arthropods. In 2016, lost much more – about 500 of horseshoe crabs.
«Maybe it’s because of rising sea levels due to global warming, the lack of places to lay their eggs and malnutrition, – says the researcher of the University of Kyushu Kyoko Hiroko. – We need to be attentive to identify the cause».
The researchers note that horseshoe crabs rather later reach puberty, so the death of 500 birds at once – this is a serious blow to him. Horseshoe crabs live about 20 years, and they begin to lay eggs about 9-12th year of life.
In India, home to two of the remaining species of horseshoe crabs, also reduced the number of individuals in the population. At a recent meeting of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (including where it was announced that the giant pandas is becoming more and they are no longer considered “endangered” view) stated that due to the destruction of the usual habitat of horseshoe crabs, they may be on the verge of destruction.
Do not promote the growth of populations of horseshoe crabs and people. The blood of these arthropods used for laboratory research. The researchers estimated that individuals who take blood and die prematurely.