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Diet: The Horseshoe Crab eats sea worms and mollusks (like young clams). They find their prey while walking along the sea bed; they are predominantly nocturnal (most active at night).
Anatomy: The Horseshoe Crab has a hard outer shell (an exoskeleton), 5 pairs of jointed legs and a pair of pincers. The Horseshoe Crab is up to 2 ft (60 cm) long and weighs up to 10 pounds (4.5 kg); it molts its skin many times as it grows. The male is two-thirds the size of the female. The long tail is not a weapon; it is used as a rudder (for steering) and for righting itself when it is flipped upside down. The Horseshoe Crab has light blue, copper-based blood. It breathes using book gills, thin plates located on the abdomen.
Reproduction: Horseshoe Crabs hatch from eggs that the female lays. She lays roughly 20,000 small, green eggs in holes that she digs in the sand on the beach.
Classification: Phylum Arthropoda, Class Merostomata, Order Xiphosura, Genus and species Limulus polyphemus, Tachypleus tridentatus, T. gigas, and Carcinoscorpinus rotundicauda.
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