The Parts of a Horseshoe Crab


Hi, I’m Jared, and welcome to “Fun Science Demos”. We’re here on location on the sunny beaches of Delaware hosting
our good friend the horseshoe crab. He’s the big idea
today. I want to take a look at what… he’s the big idea today I wanna take a
look at what his body parts are and what makes him a horseshoe crab. The first thing to keep in mind is that the horseshoe crab isn’t really a crab. It’s actually a
different kind of creature. Let’s take a look at the parts on the
outside in the horseshoe crab. He’s got this hard shell, and he has two compound eye up here. He also has some simple eyes in the front.
Altogether he has somewhere around eight different eyes. That’s a lot of eyes. He then has this little tail on the
back. What’s the tail for? Is it a weapon? Not really. A lot of times
when horseshoe crabs swim, they’re going to swim upside down. Believe it! I mean, look at that tail. Sometimes when
they get flipped over on the beach they have to flip themselves back. How
do they do it? Well he’s starting to do it already. He
wiggles his tail. He’ll flip himself over. It’s a horseshoe crab.
So now let’s take a look underneath this guy. He’s moving around, which is
cool and you can see him moving these legs.
The first four pair of his legs here are walking legs. He uses them to walk on the sandy bottom. So what is this guy up front, kind of looks
like a boxing glove? Well it’s actually a little pincer that
he uses to hold on to the shell of a female horseshoe crab. What are
these things right here? They look like the pages of a book,
so they’re called “book gills”. He uses these things to breathe underwater. He uses these things to breathe oxygen in the water. These two little pairs of pincers he
actual uses for food, to grip the food and to put the food into
his mouth. That center part right there, that’s his mouth. This particular horseshoe crab is a boy. How do I know that? Well, a couple of
different reasons. First of all, he’s a lot smaller than a
female horseshoe crab. Just the size of his outer shell. And then when I pick him up and flip
him over, there’s two other things that let me know he’s a boy. This curve right here on his shell lets me
know that he’s a boy. Then finally, this front
boxing glove pincer, that lets me know he’s a boy. Horseshoe crabs are so cool. If you want to learn more about the
parts of a horseshoe crab, check out our links in the video description. Or this really neat
picture book, “Horseshoe Crabs and Shorebirds” by
Victoria Crenson. Science is so cool, horseshoe crabs
are so cool, and I have to go put this guy back
in the water. Thanks for watching.

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