Creature Feature Encyclopedia: Merostomata

Horse Shoe Crab

Horse Shoe Crab
Limulus polyphemus

Xiphosuran (pronounced "zif-a-SOOR-en") is a scientific name for Horse Shoe Crabs. More closely related to spiders than to crabs, these living fossils are remnants of a group of sea creatures that flourished some 200 million years ago. Ranging in size from 6 to 24 inches, these harmless animals migrate into shallow waters to mate. If they cannot move to deeper water before the tide recedes, they bury themselves in the sand to wait for the next high tide. Their hard shells keep them from drying out in the sun.

~A Swim through the Sea © 1994

The Library

  • Encyclopedia
  • Planet Scout Glossary
  • Reading Lists
  • Planet Scout Links

  << Back to Clubhouse