Everything Dinosaur has added a horseshoe crab soft toy to its range of prehistoric plush. The horseshoe crab is very cuddly, sponge washable and is a wonderful new addition to the company’s prehistoric animal soft toy range.

Horseshoe crab soft toy
Everything Dinosaur has added a soft toy horseshoe crab to it range of prehistoric animal soft toys. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Horseshoe Crab Soft Toy

Animals in the family Limulidae are called “horseshoe crabs” due to the shape of their carapace which is shaped like a horseshoe. These ancient animals are not crabs. The first of these amazing creatures is thought to have evolved around 480 million years ago in the Ordovician. Often described as “living fossils” the four remaining species are the last representatives of the family, which was much more diverse in prehistoric times. Their body shape has not changed for millions of years.

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Horseshoe crab soft toy.
Prehistoric plush! The soft and cuddly horseshoe crab.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Important Animals for Medical Research

These ancient creatures, with their famous, blue-coloured blood are playing an important role in medicine.

In the 1950s, researchers noticed that the blood of the western Atlantic horseshoe crab species (called Limulus polyphemus by scientists) clots quickly when exposed to certain bacteria. With further study, scientists determined that a compound called LAL (short for Limulus Amebocyte Lysate) is responsible for the clotting. LAL acts as a safeguard for the animals, reacting when it comes into contact with bacteria, fungi, and perhaps most importantly, proteins called endotoxins that are part of the cell structure of certain bacteria.

If these endotoxins get into a person’s bloodstream, they can cause a range of problems from fever to burst blood vessels in the brain. Even after an item has been sterilised of live bacteria, endotoxins can be residual. Researchers quickly saw the potential to use LAL as a simple, reliable test for endotoxins and developed methods to extract the compound. These ancient and increasingly rare marine animals continue to be studied by scientists, keen to understand more about their unique physiology.

Horseshoe crab soft toy.
The horseshoe crab soft toy will be supplied with an Everything Dinosaur horseshoe crab fact sheet.

An Everything Dinosaur Fact Sheet

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur welcomed the arrival of the horseshoe crab soft toy. It joins several other Palaeozoic plush such as the ammonite and belemnite soft toys.

The spokesperson stated:

“It is a very colourful prehistoric animal soft toy. This item of prehistoric plush has bright red legs, a cream-coloured underside and a brown carapace. It has beautiful, cute eyes and a long soft tail. The horseshoe crab soft toy is a welcome addition to our soft toy range.”

An Everything Dinosaur horseshoe crab fact sheet will be sent out with sales of this new soft toy.

To view the range of prehistoric animal soft toys available from Everything Dinosaur: Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Soft Toys.