The Horeshoe Crab
Despite the name these animals are more closely related to spiders than to crabs. This one is next to the touch pool in the Marine Center.
They are considered living fossils as they have existed for 400 million years, way before the first dinosaurs appeared on earth! Hong Kong has 2 species of horseshoe crabs, mostly on Lantau island and Sai kung area. A very peculiar trait of these animals is their blood, blue instead of red, and used worldwide in medicine for a particular enzyme able to detect the presence of toxins.
Many, many thanks to Maxine and Sarah of the The Marine Science Center, where i took these photos. The Marine Science Center is an aquarium and laboratory facility, centre of excellence of the Harbour school, on Ap lei Chau Island. The centre is focused on education and outreach program, it is equipped with up-to-date touch tank and aquaria and it hosts a great variety of colourful marine organisms! The MSC brings marine science curriculum into the school and provides a meaningful learning experience for students and the community.
During the school year the Centre is open to visitors every month on specific dates. The staff, composed of two marine biologists, will introduce you Hong Kong marine life and its amazing biodiversity.