Fun Facts about Butterflies
- Despite their size and intimidating appearance, horseshoe crabs are not dangerous.
- A horseshoe crab's tail, while menacing, is not a weapon. Instead, the tail is used to plow the crab through the sand and muck, to act as a rudder, and to right the crab when it accidentally tips over.
- The horseshoe crab's central mouth is surrounded by its legs and while harmless, it is advisable to handle a horseshoe crab with care since you could pinch your fingers between the two parts of its shell while holding it.
- Horseshoe crabs have 2 compound eyes on the top of their shells with a range of about 3 feet. The eyes are used for locating mates.
- Horseshoe crabs can swim upside down in the open ocean using their dozen legs (most with claws) and a flap hiding nearly 200 flattened gills to propel themselves.
- Horseshoe crabs feed mostly at night and burrow for worms and mollusks. They will, however, feed at any time.
- Horseshoe crabs grow by molting and emerge 25 percent larger with each molt. After 16 molts (usually between 9 and 12 years) they will be fully grown adults.
- Horseshoe crab eggs are important food for migratory shore birds that pass over the Delaware Bay during the spring mating season. Fish also eat the juveniles or recent molts.
- In the 1900s, horseshoe crabs were dried for use as fertilizer and poultry food supplements before the advent of artificial fertilizers.
- The medical profession uses an extract from the horseshoe crab's blue, copper-based blood called lysate to test the purity of medicines. Certain properties of the shell have also been used to speed blood clotting and to make absorbable sutures.
1. The electric eel, or Electrophorus electricus, is a freshwater fish, not a true eel.
2. They are called eel for their elongated body.
3. Their body length reaches up to 9 feet.
4. Their weight reaches up to 60 pounds.
5. Their Coloring is brownish with orange underside, spotty yellow on young.
6. The electric eel is different from other electric fish in its ability to generate a stunning or even a killing electrical discharge. The electric eel can produce up to 600V in a single dischange -- this is 5 times the shock you would get from sticking your finger into an electrical socket.
7. The electricity from an electric eel could be used to turn at least one light bulb on.
8. Male electric eels live about 10-15 years.
9. Female electric eels live about 12-22 years.
10. .After delivering a strong shock, the electric eel must then allow the electric organ to recharge. Batteries have to be recharged using an external source of energy; in the electric eel the energy to recharge the electric organ comes from the fish's metabolism.
11. Electric eels are air-breathing fish that use vascular folds in the lining of the mouth for absorbing oxygen. Air is taken in through the mouth and out through the gill slits.
12. They are found in the Amazon River Basin in South America, preferring marshy or stagnant areas where other fishes find it difficult to live due to the low dissolved oxygen levels. The electric eel should not be confused with eels found elsewhere.
13. When the eel is at rest, there is no generation of electrical impulses.
14. Electric eels kill or stun their prey with electric shocks. Electric eels do not have teeth, enabling them to swallow their prey easier.