Monday, August 17, 2009

The Eyes Have It

[click image to enlarge]

Before humans, before dinosaurs and before flowering plants were these creatures . . . horseshoe crabs. This creature has 10 eyes and can see UV light. Since I first saw them as a kid at Wolly Beach, I haven't cared for their severe appearance. I can however appreciate its vital, if little-known, role in the life of anyone who has received an injectable medication. An extract of the horseshoe crab's blood is used by the pharmaceutical and medical device industries to ensure that their products, e.g., intravenous drugs, vaccines, and medical devices, are free of bacterial contamination. No other test works as easily or reliably for this purpose. You can find out more about these ancient creatures here.

This is also my entry for Monochrome Monday. Click here to see more black and white images from around the world.

9 comments:

bettyl said...

It's not real pretty is it? ! Interesting photo and info. Thanks for both!

Bengbeng said...

wow.. thanks for sharing this info. i had no idea this humble creature was so useful

Aileni said...

The most ancient and the most modern in one - good stuff.

brattcat said...

Fascinating post, both the info on the horseshoe crab and the photograph itself, which is a fine study in b&w.

Daryl said...

Excellent capture

marley said...

What an unusal looking creature, don't think I've seen one before!

Abraham Lincoln said...

There is so much we don't know. I hate to think that we eat so many things and some of those have got to be out cousins. I like the black and white on this too.

Jacob said...

Thanks for all that info. I had no idea. We have lots of them in this area, along the Gulf Coast beaches, but they are a protected species! Now I know why!

The Lone Beader said...

Wow! I have never seen one! I didn't know they were around here!