How Does a Species Exist More than 400 Million Years?

Dear Net Buddies and Blazers,

Horseshoe crabs have survived four of the last five great mass extinctions. They outlived dinosaurs and countless other creatures. So how do they do it? A quote from Charles Darwin, architect of the Theory of Evolution, gives us a clue:  It is not the strongest of the species that survive nor the most intelligent, but the one more responsive to change. Horseshoe crabs not only have proven to have individuals that are resilient, but as a species they are one of the most resilient on Earth.

One of their survival super powers is something called “blue blood,” which thickens when it encounters bacteria, saving it from many types of infection. This is a key reason that scientists are studying it today looking at ways this blue blood can help us decontaminate medical equipment and treat fungal infections and cancer.  Who knows – it might even help us with Covid-19.

The key take-away is that in 400 million years the horseshoe crab has survived in a lot of different environments – something we are all stretching our skills and resilience to do as a “new normal” defined by living with Covid-19 requires.

Many of you have started sharing with us how you are adapting and staying strong during this time – don’t stop now, we are all learning from you and will start sharing your tips and hacks later this week.

One Comment on “How Does a Species Exist More than 400 Million Years?

Thembela Mjonono
May 28, 2020 at 7:42 am



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