» Home > In the News

Turtles and Crabs

23 November 2022
Biology, Evolution

At https://www.newscientist.com/article/2347552-gigantic-turtle-from the dinosaur-era-almost-metres-big/ … a giant turtle from the Cretaceous, dated around 80 million to 70 million years ago, was the size of a Great White shark. The remains were dug up in the southern Pyrenees, in NE Spain. That is, after a hiker had stumbled on bone fragments of a different creature, leading to an excavation of the area.

Over at https://phys.org/news/2022-11-scales-scientists-horseshoe-crab-cuticle.html … which is an interesting discovery. Scientists learn how the horseshoe crab sees throught its cuticle lenses – which must apply to other creatures as well. The primitive compound eyes of horseshoe crabs are notably large. The results are published in Advanced Science – see https://doi.org/10.1002/advs.202203371 … compound eyues are common in insects and crustaceans, usually an array of lenses that collect light from different direction and focus it precisely in one spot, where the receptor cells are located. The compound eyes of horseshoe crabs are deemed to be more primitive in comparison to dragonflies and shrimps, for example. The horseshoe crab repurposes the material that builds its exoskeleton – the cuticle. The arthropod cuticle is a composite material consisting of proteins and a crstalline polymer known as chitin. It is characteristic of insects, spiders, and other arthropods that use it to build skin and legs etc. Different arthropods adjust the cuticle to their own needs. The fact that horseshoe crabs can repurpose the material for its eyes is remarkable.

Skip to content