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Biomedical bleeding affects horseshoe crab behavior
Date:2/24/2014

out of their natural environment. Their research also revealed that the crabs' levels of hemocyanin, a protein in their system that helps transport oxygen in their blood, decreased for all individuals regardless of whether or not they were bled. Lowered hemocyanin levels might lessen the crabs' resilience to the stress of the experience.

Regardless, the researchers feel improvements in the collection and bleeding process are imperative to help preserve the species. In addition to the economic value of their blood, horseshoe crab eggs provide a critical food source for shorebirds that stop in Delaware on their migration to the Arctic. The adult crabs are also harvested for bait in the whelk and eel fisheries in many states, not including New Hampshire.

"We want to ensure that the biomedical bleeding is a sustainable practice, because horseshoe crabs are a critical component of the coastal ecosystem," Chabot says.

"I hope that this research helps to design management regulations that meet the needs of both the people and the crabs," Anderson adds.


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Contact: Rebecca Zeiber
rebecca.zeiber@unh.edu
603-862-6704
University of New Hampshire
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2 3

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