Probably not who you were thinking right away when you read this post's title but the true magical blue bloods of Cape Cod in my book have to be the interesting, still prehistoric* looking horseshoe crabs. If you walk the beaches on the Cape in September you might notice that the shoreline is mysteriously littered with hundreds of horseshoe crabs and worry that we have another disturbing, confounding mass exodus from the sea onto our lands. Luckily that is not the case here. Horseshoe crabs molt their exoskeletons as they grow older and bigger, pushing out of the front of their shells to get out. Their new shell is soft and malleable and can fit under their harder outer shell allowing them to shimmy out of their old one to dispose of it upon the shore. But the true magical feat of these upside down swimming horseshoe crabs is their blood. Horseshoe crabs use hemocyanin to carry oxygen through their blood. Because of the copper present in hemocyanin, their blood is blue in color. This valuable blue blood has aided in human medical research over the years. These interesting creatures from the sea are just another example of the wonders of the world around us and remind us again of the delicate symbiotic balance at play on this earth.
*The earliest horseshoe crab samples were dated roughly 450 million years ago.
Photo: Ann Cutting
I am a designer and Cape native who loves cottage style, simple, small house living and guiding people to the hidden treasures