Horseshoe crab blood (and, why conservation pays)

Horseshoe crab blood (and, why conservation pays)

Horseshoe crab-like creatures were here when the dinosaurs appeared, and they were here after the dinosaurs disappeared. They survived ancient global warming and ice ages alike. And then people happened. 

“Over a hundred years ago, they were ground up and put on land as a fertilizer,” says Eric Hallerman, professor of fish conservation at Virginia Tech. In places like the Delaware Bay, 90 percent of the crab population was wiped out, and not a great many people cried about it. 

Then in the ’70s, people discovered that they need the crabs for something much more valuable. “Every human on the face of the earth, if they’ve ever been given an injectable medicine, has been touched by LAL,” says Allen Bergenson with biomedical firm Lonza. 

Love this. Environmentalists need to keep reframing the conversation, and they will continue to see more changes for the better.

 

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