Atlantic Coast horseshoe crab, Limulus polyphemus, is the single
most-studied invertebrate animal in the world. Not only have researchers
examined the ecology and behavior of horseshoe crabs, but they are also
intrigued by the benefits horseshoe crabs could provide for humans.
Three Nobel Prizes have been awarded to scientists who did some or all of their research on an aspect of the horseshoe crab's physiology. Thanks to the horseshoe crab, medical science has made great strides in eye research, development of surgical sutures and wound dressings, and detection of bacterial contamination in drugs. In the future, new probes based on the horseshoe crab's blood may help space scientists search for primitive life on Mars and other planets.
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