Horseshoe Crab

These arthropod swam and walked around before the Ankylosaurid.

Renown as the only chelicerate that’s not a true arachnid.

A living fossil whose ten eyes provide a panoptic shield.

As the tail steers ten legs that scurry with speed on the seabed.

Focused eyes in the front, on the tail, atop,  below, and both sides.

It’s speed, spike-like tail, hard shell make adults formidable prey.

Shore birds, sharks who repeatedly peck at exposed side filet,

may execute a backflip on this opponent during the fray.

Horseshoe crab arches its body, digs its tail into the bay,

determined to reverse fragile overturned body display. 

The horseshoe crab mostly scavenges but may hunt for hatchlings.

It’s two chelicerae crushes, grinds dead mollusks, crustaceans.

On a full moon crabs dig a hole to lay many eggs on coastal lands.

The male crab competes to deposit sperm atop those thousands. 

Few survive to larvae although mama covers the eggs with sand.

Larvae who molt to adult, may experience abduction by humans.

Poisonous yet eaten, their rubbery meat is not what’s esteemed.

Blood assessed essential for medicine as liquid gold deemed.

Worth sixty thousand per gallon obtained with a heart puncture.

Copper induced blue blood drained before their departure.

Revered in Japanese mythology as a creature named Shoguto Gani.

Name translates to helmet crab for resemblance samurai helmet.

Possessor of supernatural abilities, ancient wisdom of sea mysteries


Marcia Beckford

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