Citizen Science Projects

My sons learn how to tag horseshoe crabs for Sacred Heart University's Project Limulus

"Don't worry ma'am, we've got it under control: we're scientists." Tagging horseshoe crabs for Project Limulus. Photo by Andrea Schwalm

It’s a dark and blurry but if you look closely you can see that this is a picture of my younger son holding a flashlight while my older son tags a horseshoe crab. The boys were participants two years ago in Sacred Heart University’s Project Limulus, an annual horseshoe-crab census that has used volunteer-generated numbers to try and solve an emerging environmental mystery: “Where are all the horseshoe crabs going?”

It turns out that horseshoe crabs are pretty amazing creatures. At over 350 million years on the planet, they are one of our oldest-surviving species. Their shells have been used to make sutures and their blue, copper-based blood is used by pharmaceutical companies to test the safety and purity of drugs, vaccines and medical devices–no other medium works as reliably.

[To read more of Andrew Schwalm’s scientific explorations, head over to GeekMom.]

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