Why “Blue Blood” is Cost for US$ 60 Thousand per Gallon?

Thursday, July 4, 2019
Horseshoe crabs on the beach

What? “Blue blood?” Expensive? I am quite surprising when reading an article about price of blue blood of a horseshoe crab, a primitive marine creature.

When I was a little kid, I found these creatures on the beach while low tide. The horseshoe crabs are older than dinosaurs in term of evolutionary time.

They were appearing about more than 200 million years ago, thus categorized as “living fossil.”

In the USA, if we lucky enough, we may spot this living fossil along the coastline of Maine to Florida to Texas and then to Mexico in the summer season.

The scientific name for American horseshoe crab is Limulus polypemus. Other three species are found in tropical Indo-Pacific, mainly in South East Asia countries:

- Tachypleus gigas
- Tachypleus tridentatus
- Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda


Blue blood was taken by bleeding horseshoe crabs

Based on scientific name, horseshoe crab is not really crab. Close to spider and scorpion than to crab.

Why their blood color are blue? To carry oxygen in the blood, horseshoe crabs use hemocyanin, and hemocyanin contains copper to cause blood to be blue.

As comparison that mammals use hemoglobin to carry oxygen in their blood. Hemoglobin contains iron which make red color of blood.


Male on the top of female when they are breeding

Price tag is US$ 60 thousands equal to Euro 53 thousand or US$ 16,000 per liter. So expensive.

It is because highly demand of horseshoe crabs blood by pharmaceutical companies. The companies catch the living fossil, and brought to lab to drain up the animal blood.

Around 30% of animals blood are taken, then released back to ocean. List of companies collect the blue blood are:

- Associates of Cape Cod
- Wako Chemical
- Lonza
- Charles River Endosafe
- Limuli Labs

Blue blood is extracted for Limulus Amebocyte Lysate (LAL). The LAL then applied to detect virus, bacteria and toxin in the substances.

Have you seen horseshoe crab on the beach?

27 comments:

  1. So interesting :) I've never heard about 'blue blood' before :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you to visit:
      Why “Blue Blood” is Cost for US$ 60 Thousand per Gallon?
      @
      Horseshoe crabs on the beach

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  2. Replies
    1. Thank you to visit:
      Why “Blue Blood” is Cost for US$ 60 Thousand per Gallon?
      @
      What? “Blue blood?” Expensive? I am quite surprising when reading an article about price of blue blood of a horseshoe crab, a primitive marine creature.

      Delete
  3. We don't have them i Italy, however I have studied it while I was attending the Univesity and actually saw them in Baltimora's aquarium!
    Don't Call Me Fashion Blogger
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    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you to visit:
      Why “Blue Blood” is Cost for US$ 60 Thousand per Gallon?
      @
      When I was a little kid, I found these creatures on the beach while low tide. The horseshoe crabs are older than dinosaurs in term of evolutionary time.

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. Thank you to visit:
      Why “Blue Blood” is Cost for US$ 60 Thousand per Gallon?
      @
      They were appearing about more than 200 million years ago, thus categorized as “living fossil.”

      Delete
  5. Replies
    1. Thank you to visit:
      Why “Blue Blood” is Cost for US$ 60 Thousand per Gallon?
      @
      In the USA, if we lucky enough, we may spot this living fossil along the coastline of Maine to Florida to Texas and then to Mexico in the summer season.

      Delete
  6. Interesting post.
    I've never heard about this animal before.
    Have a nice day.

    galerafashion.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you to visit:
      Why “Blue Blood” is Cost for US$ 60 Thousand per Gallon?
      @
      The scientific name for American horseshoe crab is Limulus polypemus. Other three species are found in tropical Indo-Pacific, mainly in South East Asia countries:

      Delete
  7. omg,blue blood, they're of a noble descent!
    Thanks for your comment on my blog too, and, have a nice weekend! ^^

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you to visit:
      Why “Blue Blood” is Cost for US$ 60 Thousand per Gallon?
      @
      - Tachypleus gigas
      - Tachypleus tridentatus
      - Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda

      Delete
  8. Sure looks different then the crab over west coast.
    Coffee is on

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you to visit:
      Why “Blue Blood” is Cost for US$ 60 Thousand per Gallon?
      @
      Blue blood was taken by bleeding horseshoe crabs

      Delete
  9. Very interesting post.
    Happy weekend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you to visit:
      Why “Blue Blood” is Cost for US$ 60 Thousand per Gallon?
      @
      Based on scientific name, horseshoe crab is not really crab. Close to spider and scorpion than to crab.

      Delete
  10. That is interesting. Something I knew not at all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you to visit:
      Why “Blue Blood” is Cost for US$ 60 Thousand per Gallon?
      @
      Why their blood color are blue? To carry oxygen in the blood, horseshoe crabs use hemocyanin, and hemocyanin contains copper to cause blood to be blue.

      Delete
  11. Tanza, this is a fascinating article! I never knew that we drew this benefit from horseshoe crabs (which we see here on the North Florida beaches). I'm glad they can "give" their blood and then live on and that we don't kill them to get this product.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes, they are released back to ocean.....

      Thank you to visit:
      Why “Blue Blood” is Cost for US$ 60 Thousand per Gallon?
      @
      As comparison that mammals use hemoglobin to carry oxygen in their blood. Hemoglobin contains iron which make red color of blood.

      Delete
  12. I never saw one personally, but I would like to. :)
    --
    O diário da Inês | Facebook | Instagram

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you to visit:
      Why “Blue Blood” is Cost for US$ 60 Thousand per Gallon?
      @
      Male on the top of female when they are breeding

      Delete
  13. wow! Fascinating. I had no idea.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you to visit:
      Why “Blue Blood” is Cost for US$ 60 Thousand per Gallon?
      @
      Price tag is US$ 60 thousands equal to Euro 53 thousand or US$ 16,000 per liter. So expensive.

      Delete