Horseshoe Crab Facts
Five groups that classify all living things
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
A group of animals within a pylum
A group of animals within a class
A group of animals within an order
Most widely used name for this species
The name of the animal in science
The place where something is found
What kind of foods the animal eats
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
|20cm - 60cm (8in - 24in)|
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
|1kg - 4.5kg (2.2lbs - 9.9lbs)|
|Number Of Species:|
The total number of recorded species
The average time the animal lives for
|20 - 40 years|
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
|Black. Brown, Yellow, Tan, Silver, White|
The protective layer of the animal
The preferred food of this animal
The specific area where the animal lives
|Muddy bottoms of shallow water|
|Average Litter Size:|
The average number of babies born at once
The food that the animal gains energy from
|Worms, Molluscs, Crustaceans|
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
|Sharks, Sea Turtles, Humans|
Characteristics unique to this animal
|Armoured shell with long, thin tail|
Horseshoe Crab Location
The horseshoe crab (also known as the king crab), is a hard-shelled invertebrate found on the sea floor in warmer climates. Despite its name, the horseshoe crab is not actually a crab (or crustacean) and is in fact more closely related to arachnids such as spiders and scorpions.
The appearance of the horseshoe crab is thought to have changed very little from when it first evolved around 500 million years ago. Horseshoe crabs breathe using book gills, which are thin plates found on the abdomen of the horseshoe crab.
Horseshoe crabs are generally nocturnal animals, coming out of the shadows in the darkness in order to hunt for food. As carnivorous animals, horseshoe crabs only eat meat including sea worms, small molluscs and crustaceans.
Thanks to their armoured casing, horseshoe crabs have few natural predators and are primarily hunted by sharks and sea turtles. Humans also widely hunt the horseshoe crab around the world, along with coastal birds that pick the horseshoe crabs out of the shallows.
Female horseshoe crabs are known to lay between 60,000 to 120,000 eggs at a time. After mating, the female horseshoe crab lays her eggs into a hole in the sand which she then covers up to protect them.
Today, the horseshoe crab is still found widely along the world's warmer coastlines although horseshoe crab populations in certain areas are suffering from high levels of water pollution and over-fishing.
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First Published: 24th May 2010, Last Updated: 8th November 2019
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