Do Horseshoe Crabs STING?!
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Do Horseshoe Crabs STING?!

August 12, 2019


– [Coyote] Mark. – [Mark] What’s wrong? – Are you ready to see an alien? (suspenseful music) – [Coyote Voiceover] Like
clockwork, it’s a guarantee that twice a day the tide will
rise and the tide will fall. As it recedes, we have all
learned that an incredible world of underwater marine animals
become temporarily exposed, allowing any curious adventurer
the opportunity to find and admire all sorts
of bizarre creatures. In Harpswell, Maine, we
came across one animal that we had been hoping to
feature on Beyond The Tide since the series launched. But before we get to that
alien-looking water beast, let’s take a look at something that is going to
make your skin crawl. – Dude, Mark. Come here, check this out. – [Mark] What is it? – Dude, this grass is, like,
full of little tiny fleas or something jumping. Look at that. Woah, I’m standing– Oh, jeez. Look at that. Listen. – [Mark] You hear that? – [Coyote] That’s like popcorn. – [Mark] Sounds like rain. – [Coyote] I think those are
sand fleas, let me grab one. – [Mark] Does he bite? – [Coyote] Uhh, I believe so. All fleas, as far
as I know, bite. I can’t grab one, they’re
too small and fast. Jeez, jumping all over me. Here, come over
here, look at this. Let me check this grass,
this might be better. Point your camera
down right here. This is the exact same sort
of seaweed, dried up seaweed. Ah, see, look at that. I just stepped on ’em
and they’re everywhere. Watch, ready? One, two. Oh my gosh! Look at that! – [Mark] Put your hand in there. – [Coyote] Put my hand in there? Alright here, let me
peel back some more. (insects rapidly jumping) – [Mark] What’s that like? – [Coyote] That
feels really weird, but they’re not biting me. They’re just jumping on me. Here, let me peel back
this a little bit more. Look at that. – [Mark] There are,
like, millions of them. – [Coyote] Oh my
gosh, that’s crazy. (insects rapidly jumping) Got one. Look, look, look. Right there, you see his
little head sticking out? I believe that’s a sand flea. That is creepy. Alright, note to self,
don’t lay on this beach. I’m just gonna disperse some
of this dead seaweed back out and cover up the sand flea city. I’ve never seen
anything like that. Millions upon millions
of sand fleas. Alright, let’s head this
way down the coastline and see what else we can find. – [Coyote Voiceover] As we
continued down the coastline, we soon realized it was
unlike any low tide scenario we had explored before. I carefully examined
potential hiding spots where animals may be waiting
for the tide to return, but so far, beside from
thousands of fleas, I wasn’t seeing a
single living creature. The sun was getting
low in the sky, when all of a sudden our
luck took the perfect turn and put us right in the midst of an animal we had always
hoped to get up close for the cameras. – Oh, it’s a turtle. Oh no, it’s a horseshoe crab. – What? – Look at this. – [Mark] Is it alive? – Oh, it is alive, look at that. Wow, I thought
that was a turtle. Oh my gosh, I just saw the lump, I thought it was a carapace. Alright, let’s do this. I’m gonna gently lift it
up out of the grasses here. Let’s see, oh, it’s strong. Look at that, wow.
– What an alien. – Look at its tail go. Here, back up a little bit so
I’m not sitting in the water. Woah, look at that,
oh my goodness. That is a horseshoe crab. What a bizarre-looking creature. Now you may be thinking, Coyote, is that
thing going to pinch and bite you like crazy? No, they actually just
have a little tiny mouth right in the center. And they have no stinger,
no fangs, no teeth. Look at that back tail there. Now, they’ve gotten a bad
reputation because of the tail. People think that
that’s venomous. It actually is not. Ow, ow, ow, but the
side little spikes there are definitely very, very spiny. Let me see if I
can get it to just lay in the palm of my hand. Oh, that feels
really, really creepy. Now it’s called
a horseshoe crab, but it’s not actually
related to crabs at all. It’s more closely related
to spiders and scorpions. This is one large arthropod. Now, wait, it is
pinching me a little bit. They do have these
front pedipalps up front that they use to harvest food
off of the basin of the ocean. Wow, I am so excited right now. Hold on, I gotta compose
myself because I did not think we were gonna come across
a horseshoe crab out here. Now if you look straight on, where it gets the
name, horseshoe crab, let me hold it like that. Looks just like a
horseshoe, right? – [Mark] Totally. – And if you look right at
the front of the face there, you see these little spots? Those are compound eyes. Actually, this animal
has nine eyes in total. The two right here, five light-sensing eyes
on top of its carapace, and then on the
underside, two simple eyes that they actually use to kind
of sense their environment. And scientists think that
the eyes on the underside are actually just leftover from when they were
in a larva stage. – [Mark] So wait, those are
eyes on the top of that? – [Coyote] Yes. And it actually looks
like a face, doesn’t it? You see that? – [Mark] I always thought
that that was just a helmet, like a shell protection. – Well the top of this animal
is called the carapace, just like a lot of
other arthropod species. This is a very dense,
very hard exoskeleton. They don’t actually
have an endoskeleton, you know, bones and
cartilage like a human. But on the underside,
look at that. Looks just like a
scorpion or a spider. – [Mark] Woh, can I
touch the top of it? – Yeah, yeah,
yeah, totally safe. – Is it tough? Oh, wow. – Yup, exoskeleton. – It’s just like a
turtle shell actually. – Yeah, well I thought
it was a turtle when we first walked up. And look, you’ve got some
sort of a barnacle growing up on top of it. It’s covered in a little
bit of algae and seaweed. Now here’s something
that you may not know. It’s something very cool. Let me turn it like this and just hold it in
the palm of my hand. That is me holding
a living fossil. The ancestors of the horseshoe
crab have been on the planet for over 450 million years. And this species right here is
the Atlantic horseshoe crab. There’s only four horseshoe
crab species in the world. This is the only one that
can be found off the coast of the United States. And this one
specifically, this design, the Atlantic horseshoe
crab has not changed in over 230 million years. That dates back to
the Triassic Period. So this creature was
crawling around on the basin of the ocean during the
time of the dinosaurs. How cool is that? Now they do get quite
a bit bigger than this and I’m guessing
this is a female. The females are about 25%
larger than the males. Wow, it’s almost
impossible to hold on to. Look at the underside. – [Mark] It does
look like a stinger. – It does, and that’s why people
are afraid of these things. They think they’re
gonna get stung. Look at this, nope. This tail is actually
just used like a rudder, although it does
have all these barbs. It’s very intimidating, but
it cannot hurt you at all. In fact, if a horseshoe
crab gets flipped on its back like that, see, it tries to
right itself up? It actually can’t. And that’s a big misnomer that
these arthropods are capable of flipping
themselves back over. There’s actually a
conservation effort that was launched in the
80s called Just Flip ‘Em. And the Just Flip ‘Em concept
is that if you’re walking down the beach and you
see a horseshoe crab that’s flipped on
its back like this, from, like, a
crashing of a wave, what you’re supposed to do is
just gently grab the carapace and flip it right-side up. Now, you don’t wanna
pick it up by its tail because you can actually
injure the animal if you hold it like that. Look at that, Mark, it’s
coming right toward you. – [Mark] Do they ever
come on land for anything or are they just purely aquatic? – Well, between June and August, they come very close
to shore to breathe. And the way that they do that is the female will kind of
nestle down in the rocks and the male will come
in and latch himself onto the back of the female. Horseshoe crabs can breathe
underwater or out of the water because a lot of the time
when breeding’s taking place, sometimes they’re caught as
the tide goes out too quickly and it can actually breathe air. Wow, I have really wanted
to feature a horseshoe crab on Beyond The Tide and it’s kind of being in the
right place at the right time that we came across
one of these giants. Look at that thing. That’s as big as my face is. Woah, I do have to watch
out for that tail though. I don’t wanna get
stabbed in the eye by it. Well, how cool is this? Coming across one of the
most bizarre creatures you can ever stumble
upon in the tide pools, the horseshoe crab. I’m Coyote Peterson. Be brave. Stay wild. We’ll see you on
the next adventure. Alright, let’s let her
back off into the ocean. – [Coyote Voiceover] Despite
its angry appearance, intimidating spike tail, and creepy set of
legs and pinchers, the horseshoe crab is one of
the friendliest marine animals you can stumble upon. If you see one in the wild, simply admire it from
a respectful distance. If you see one
flipped on its back, have no fear when it comes
to picking the animal up and gently setting it
back into the water. If you thought
getting face-to-face with the horseshoe
crab was fascinating, make sure you go back
and check out the time we encountered an octopus. And don’t forget, subscribe,
so you can join me and the crew on our next Beyond
The Tide adventure. – And one really cool
feature about the octopus is its ability to camouflage
with its environment.

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  1. My grandparents live in the Chesapeake bay Maryland, and there are tons of horseshoe crabs,washed up on the beaches and in the water, it's so cool, I saved one that was flipped over and washed up yesterday, I love them

  2. Uuuuuu……..mmmmmmmmm…………….😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕.

  3. “The tail is cannot harm you whatsoever”
    Two minutes later “I’ve got to watch out I don’t want to get stabbed in the eye”

  4. OMG…IS THAT ….is that my Pedro?

    Bff : 🤣 yes it is ur Pedro touch it

    Me : MY PEDRO…*stabs self* O-O….AHHHHHHHH

  5. Mark: WOAH THERE ARE MILLIONS OF THEM.
    Me being the smartass I am: Hahaha ohoho Marc that's barely a million

  6. I went to the beach the other day and there were a bunch of horseshoe crab shells and my dad picked one up and put it on his head as a hat

  7. I remember when I first saw one of his episodes he only had 100k+ subs! I left for 4 years and now he have 14million im soo happy to see this improvement 😭😭😭😭💝💝💝

  8. I just found one of these guys today! Went to a beach in RI and one swam right up to me! I picked them up gently for a min then gently placed them back into the water. Its always been one of my goals to find one and touch one since their so fascinating to me! Thank you coyote for the information on one of my favorite creatures!!!

  9. The zoo is like "if you see one of these in the wild don't touch it not even if is flipped over it will bite and sting you" while you are here just.. Well… Not getting bit and stung! XD

  10. I found one of these in the Beach yesterday I was finding rocks in the water I held it by the shell and leg and dropped it and ran

  11. Do not get stung by a horseshoe crab. The LAL in the blood will clot your blood and you’ll be dead before you know what happens

  12. People keep making fun of him cause he called the horshoe crab a turtle but did you know these existed before you watched this

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