the Horseshoe Crab Will Teach You About Life

The ocean provides the world with alluring and interesting creatures of all shapes, sizes, and classifications. The Atlantic Horseshoe Crab is one of these odd and fascinating species found in and near coastal waters. Here are 10 facts about this unique arthropod of the sea:

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1 – The scientific name is Limulus Polyphemus and is part of the arthropod classification.

The horseshoe crab is not considered a crustacean and actually has more in common with scorpions and spiders (arachnids) than other “crab” species.

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2 – The term, “horseshoe” comes from the way the unique shells resemble a horseshoe.

What do you think? What would you have named this creature if you had stumbled upon it while walking along the shoreline?

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4 – Horseshoe crabs mature and are ready to reproduce around age 10.

They lay and bury their eggs in the sand near the shoreline. The fertilization period of the eggs varies with climate and location.

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5 – Variations of the Atlantic, or American, Horseshoe Crab can be found all along the East Coast of the United States stretching from Maine down to the Gulf of Mexico.

Despite the differences among the shell colors, sizes, etc. all of them retain the Limulus Polyphemus classification.

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6 – The exoskeletons of the horseshoe crabs are shed over and over again.

As the creature reaches the end of its sexual peak, the shells decrease in size over time. An older horseshoe crab will be smaller and produce less slime than those that are younger.

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7 – Natural predators of the horseshoe crab and its eggs include sea turtles and shorebirds.

Sea turtles are currently endangered, enhancing the importance of the horseshoe crab as a food source.

8 – Because of the unique properties of its blue blood, the blood of the horseshoe crab is used in biomedical science, including the FDA, to test medicines and vaccinations.

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9 – Unfortunately, due to the overharvesting of horseshoe crabs for use as bait and testing in the biomedical field, the population has decreased through the years.

This has also lead to a negative impact on the species’ that use this creature as a food source.

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10 – Other issues causing a decline in this population are climate change, erosion of the ocean floor, human development along coastal regions, and air pollution.

Conservation teams are working to convince companies to cut back on mass harvesting. Synthetic alternatives to the unique properties of horseshoe crab blood are being tested in order to preserve this species, and to prevent any further decline. With time, hopefully we will be able to see the population turnaround and begin growing.

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Life advice from the Atlantic Horseshoe crab: If you take the time to get to know someone, you just might discover that deep down, the two of you are more alike than you would originally have thought. This is an admirable creature of the sea sure to turn a head or two when it crosses paths with humans. It has been around a long time and hopefully will continue to grace the ecosystem with its presence for the rest of the Earth’s existence.

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Thank you for reading this post. I hope you learned something new today.

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References Bakker, A.K., Dutton, J., Sclafani, M., Santangelo, N. (2016, April 27) Environmental exposure of Atlantic horseshoe crab (Limulus Polyphemus) early life stages to essential trace elements. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Aaron_Bakker/publication/310213356_Environmental_exposure_of_Atlantic_horseshoe_crab_Limulus_polyphemus_early_life_stages_to_essential_trace_elements/links/59f25410aca272cdc7d018be/Environmental-exposure-of-Atlantic-horseshoe-crab-Limulus-polyphemus-early-life-stages-to-essential-trace-elements.pdf Carter, S.C., Carmichael, R.H., Estes, M.G. Jr., and McBarnes, M. (2016, February) American Horseshoe Crab (Limulus Polyphemus): Population Ecology Within the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Retrieved from http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2016AGUOSME14D0645C Krisfalusi-Gannon, J., Ali, W., Dellinger, K., Robertson, L., Brady, T.E., Goddard, M.K.M., Tinker-Kulberg, R., Kepley, C.L., and Dellinger, A.L. (2018, June 05) The Role of Horseshoe Crabs in the Biomedical Industry and Recent Trends Impacting Species Sustainability. Retrieved from https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2018.00185/full?&utm_source=Email_to_authors_&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=T1_11.5e1_author&utm_campaign=Email_publication&field=&journalName=Frontiers_in_Marine_Science&id=328233 Maloney, T., Phelan, R., and Simmons, N. (2018, May 10) Saving the horseshoe crab: A synthetic alternative to horseshoe crab blood for endotoxin detection. Retrieved from https://peerj.com/preprints/26922.pdf Smith, D.R., Brockmann, H., Beekey, M.A. et al. Rev Fish Biol Fisheries (2017) 27: 135. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11160-016-9461-y

Emergency Room at Midnight

Back in the days

working across

from the ER

I made fun

of those

weird cases.

Now I find

myself

in the ER

and I am

a weird case.

What goes around

comes around,

I guess.

12 Quotes From Captain Marvel That Will Make You Think

Captain Marvel was a great installment to the MCU with the 90’s nostalgia and a great backstory to a powerful character. Though full of humor and smiles, several lines from the movie are deep and thought-provoking. Here are the top 12 quotes from Captain Marvel that will get you thinking:

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1 – “There’s nothing more dangerous to a warrior than emotion.” – Yon-Rogg

Emotions cause us to act irrationally and without strategy. All intelligent cognition tends to leave us when strong feelings take over. Whether in a battle or just driving down the road, when we let emotions take control, we lose our common sense.

2 – “War’s a universal language. I know a rogue soldier when I see one.” – Nick Fury

All cultures know what it’s like to have enemies and wars to fight. And most humans know what it’s like to battle demons internally. We don’t all have to get along, but we should respect the hardships of each other.

3 – “This isn’t about fighting wars. It’s about ending them.” – Lawson

War seems to be inevitable. In regards to your own personal battles, don’t pursue things that will keep you in internal turmoil. Find a way to end the battles.

4 – “Know your enemy. It could be you. Don’t let emotions override your judgement.” – Yon-Rogg

We are our own worst enemy when we allow our feelings to take the wheel and steer our actions.

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5 – “Went with his gut against orders. Hard thing to do, but it keeps us human.” – Fury

There’s no standard protocol for humans. We have rules to follow, but everyone and every scenario are unique. Sometimes we have to throw out the rule book and figure out our own path.

6 – “This is war. My hands are filthy from it too.” – Talos

All of us have stains on our soul. There’s no need for regret or shame. Just work to make the future better.

7 – “I’m only human. My name is Carol. I’ve been fighting with one arm tied behind my back. But what happens when I’m finally set free?” – Carol Danvers

Is there something holding you back? Fear, another person, a job, guilt, location? Find ways to cut yourself free from the chains that are pulling you down.

8 – “Arm wrestle for the tesseract?” – Carol

Never lose who you are when facing tough situations. Keep your attitude, your personality, and your soul. Don’t become a different person in times of war (internal or external).

9 – “We need to find more.” – Fury “More weapons?” – Agent Coulson “More Heroes.” – Fury

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Heroes exist in the world. Heroes exist within ourselves.

10 – “She found out she was on the wrong side of an unjust war.” – Talos

It’s hard to look at battles from the outside, but it’s crucial to take a step back from the action to keep yourself in check. Are you fighting on the side that matches your values? Have you been lied to? Get the facts before bullets are shot.

11 – “Anger only serves the enemy.” – Yon-Rogg

Again, emotion can be damaging if left uncontrolled. Find ways to release feelings in healthy ways.

12 – “Learn to control your impulses. Stop using this [fists] and start using this [head].” – Yon-Rogg

Think before acting. Figure out a strategy before bursting into a building with a rocket launcher.


Thanks for checking out this post. I hope you enjoyed the movie as much as I did. Even if you didn’t even see it, these quotes can still get you thinking about life. Have a super Marvel-ous day. 🙂

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Q&A Throughout Life

Insanity has been the result of years of searching for answers to my questions. At this point, I’m not even sure answers would help.

Maybe the answers aren’t the problem. Maybe I should ask different questions. Maybe I should enjoy asking the questions.

Perhaps the answers are in the questions themselves.

Something Bad

It was 3:15 p.m. and I did something bad. I did something no one in her right mind would do. It seemed so simple, and it was. The aftermath, though…it’s excruciating.

The package came before me. I saw it lying on the rocks and I opened it before I even walked inside.

The tube and the stick were waiting. I ripped the tags and tossed the covers.

It happened so fast with splashes of red.

Dumb mistake. Lesson learned – I will take much better care of myself now. That’s a promise, body.

The Place Between Alive and Dead

The place between alive and dead – the plane which the path is opened in mediation, or sometimes, through sleep (accidentally). It’s the place where one can view all the spirits present in the area. It’s a place where old friends can briefly reunite.

Is it a real place? Or does this place only exist in one’s head?

Letter From the Plane

And so the day begins – on a plane with a giraffe. Yeah, it’s a tall plane. Things are a little lax nowadays. It’s not as intense as it used to be so they even let the pet giraffe come. Dragon is happy about it. Ironically he hates heights, though. He just likes to be with me. Giraffes are a guy’s best friend. He’ll be happier when we land.

Jungles are in view. I guess we’re getting close. Are we ready for this? It’s not wartime, it’s peacetime. Honestly, peacetime is harder. Peacetime is variable. War is war, always has been and always will be.

So why are we here? Because we bloody WANT to be here. There’s nothing else anyway, so why not? We fought and lived and now we ‘actualize.’

A forest of spirits awaits our descent. I’ve never met a giraffe spirit, come to think of it. Dragon will have to explain all that to me. What do giraffes worship? Nothing, because they just want to live day by day. Ignorant beasts or intelligent life forms?

This lemon water tastes amazing. There won’t be any cold beverages in the forest. Only spirits.

Alright, we’ve been told to strap up for the descent.

Until we meet again in the next life – take care.

Love,

Vic

P.S.: I’ll definitely be a giraffe in the next life. Maybe I’ll be Dragon’s descendant.

12 Habits We Should All Adopt

There’s no doubt that life has its moments of peril for each of us. We all have our ups and downs, but life overall doesn’t have to be a war. Here are 12 simple habits that can lead you on your way to living a more enjoyable life:

1 – Drink more water.

Water is essential, yet unfortunately, most people do not drink enough of it. Flavor packets, reusable bottles, and access to clean water are available, so there’s no excuse to not give your body enough of this substance. Be conscious and make sure you are taking in at least 8-12 cups of water each day.

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2 – Have more fun.

Fun is very underrated once we grow up and become adults. We seem to push it aside and claim that it’s only for children. The truth is, adults need fun just as much as kids do, if not even more. Plan at least one or two activities each week that serve one purpose: to have fun.

3 – Exercise.

Exercise is another one of the essentials that most of us neglect to get enough of. Exercise doesn’t have to be boring, or stressful. Find something that’s enjoyable – dancing, kayaking, intramural basketball, soccer – if it gets you up and moving, it counts as exercise.

4 – Form positive thoughts.

Consciously say positive sentences to yourself throughout the day. Write them down, write them on your mirrors, or keep a list in your pocket. Once you say them enough, for long enough, the positivity will start to become natural.

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5 – Listen to your body.

Nowadays we’re bombarded with new diets and exercise regimens, surgeries and body modifications, and unruly work schedules. We participate in all these activities that go against what our bodies are needing. Sit in silence and listen to your body. It could be telling you that you need to rest, stretch, eat, etc. Learn to hear what the body needs, not read what it needs in an article.

6 – Read more often.

Reading new material challenges the brain and provides a healthy habit for rainy days and boredom. If you are not a fan of reading, then you probably just haven’t found the genre that hits close to home. Check out iBooks or a bookstore and discover what types of books you enjoy.

7 – Start writing in a journal.

Journaling has several amazing health benefits, including a safe place to vent and an escape from tough situations.

8 – Slow down.

Is life going by too fast? Learning to slow down is a great habit, whether it’s through meditation, walking, breathing techniques, sensory perception, or any other method. Stress levels dissipate when life slows down.

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9 – Schedule according to your personal needs.

If you are not a morning person, then don’t beat yourself for missing a morning workout. Schedule workouts in the afternoons or evenings. If you are more creative in the afternoons than the mornings, schedule those activities in the afternoon. Work with your natural cycles.

10 – Avoid stressful people.

This isn’t always the most doable thing, but often it’s possible to find ways to spend less time with people that spike your anxiety.

11 – Avoid stressful situations.

Arguments, crowded stores, running out of gas – it’s a good habit to try your hardest to avoid these types of scenarios as much as possible. Know what always causes tons of unnecessary panic and figure out ways to avoid these all together. Or learn ways to better handle the situations.

12 – Smile more often.

Simple, yet effective.


Thank you for reading this post. Do you have difficulty forming any of these 12 habits? Have a great day.

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The Laceration

Shedding skin

Literally

Haha

Not funny

Still fresh

Still hurts

Oh well

It’s gone

Moving on

This is How We Benefit From All Animals

Each animal in nature is a textbook of information all in itself. There’s much to be learned from these creatures if we take the time to slow down and observe. Most of us see small birds and bugs several times throughout the day and never have a passing thought about them. We go to the zoo and watch dozens of unique species and yet fail to learn anything for ourselves.

Personally love animals, so of course I’m biased. But there are valuable lessons to be learned from the species other than humans, and taking the time to learn can help us in other ways than knowledge alone.

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Here I’m going to list the reasons why learning about amazing animals will help you in return for your time and attention.

1 – Learning about different animals will force you to slow down for a moment. 

Everything in this world is on a time table. We’re forced to slave over the clock and attempt to jam as much work and errands into one day as possible. Though the world works this way, it’s not very healthy for the human mind. We’re stressed and overworked, always worried about money, and rarely take breaks for ourselves.

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Commit yourself to spending 5-10 minutes learning a little bit about the animals of the earth each week. This time spend learning will distract you and force you to sit down for a breather. We could all use a little break, and why not spend that break reading something interesting?

2 – As you read about species all over the planet, you will start to see the bigger picture.

With work, school, kids, etc., it’s easy to drift into a routine of the daily modern life. When we do this, we forget that a universe outside of our internal daily world even exists. Learning about unique creatures all over the planet will help you leave the stressful small world inside your home or office and see that the earth is a huge place full of diversity.

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See the world for all it is instead of constantly centering in on your own life. This will make simple stressors seem less significant.

3 – You will grow connected with the animals as you learn about them. 

As humans, we crave connection. We are social beings by nature and need to bond with others to feel fulfilled deep down. This connection doesn’t always have to be with other humans. In fact, you can create bonds with any living soul whether it’s a little frog in your backyard or a massive lion in a conservation center. Take the time to learn, observe, and grow a connection with an animal of any kind and you will feel warmth in your heart.

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4 – By observation and research, we can actually learn from the animals.

The introduction of this post mentions this, but I’d like to expand on my perspective more. My goal is to do separate posts along this journey for each species and what humans can learn from each of them, so I will keep this part general and less specific. Animals are instinctively wise creatures in many areas where humans are not. They raise their young, survive in harsh conditions, and can live independently from human society by nature. They are born with more of this innate knowledge unlike humans who need to be taught most everything in life.

The habits of animals have the potential to teach us more about our own lives – whether literally or  metaphorically. But we must first pay attention and take the time to learn and see these creatures in a different light. Animals are not lesser beings than humans, they are only different beings. And we can all learn from those different than ourselves.

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5 – Learning new things will open your mind.

Having a routine life isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, humans crave the act of having a set routine to follow each day. However, this can have negative consequences when we begin to only see the aspects of our daily habits. Learning the diversity that the world holds will force you out of your daily comfort zone and allow you to see more of the planet around you. You will be able to expand your knowledge discover new things about the world you may not have otherwise known without reading a little bit about a unique critter.

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I truly believe there’s much to be learned from the Animal Kingdom on this earth, and cracking the book open on creatures is good for human wellness as well.

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Thank you for reading this post. I hope you join me in my madness of learning about every species on earth. Have a good day!


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