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Naturalist Notebook 

September 6, 2011

Spotlight On…

Check out this week’s featured specimen!

(Pictured below, really close up!)

Photo: N. Sincero 2011

Can you guess what it is?

Here are some hints:

  • This animal has a gizzard.
  • This animal has a very sharp tail, which it can use to turn itself over.

Leave us a comment with your answer! Then come see us outside the Project Lab on Friday, September 9th at 11:30 AM for Specimen Spotlight in order to find out if you’re right.

Filed under: Spotlight On... — nature @ 7:17 am


  1. Sharp tail grouse

    Comment by Linda Lasky — September 6, 2011 @ 12:55 pm

  2. The eye of a horseshoe crab! Though it’s really not a crab at all. Rather, they are members of the Arthropod subphylum Chelicerata, related to spiders and scorpions.

    “I should have been a pair of ragged claws
    Scuttling across the floors of silent seas…”

    T.S. Eliot

    Comment by Martin Holden — September 6, 2011 @ 12:58 pm

  3. Horseshoe crab!

    Comment by Dave Gunderson — September 6, 2011 @ 1:01 pm

  4. Horseshoe Crab! Is that the compound eye?

    Comment by Daniel — September 8, 2011 @ 6:22 pm

  5. Yes, it is a horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus to be more precise)! If you don’t know about them, take some time to look through this site: http://horseshoecrab.org/; they are truly fascinating creatures.
    The photo is indeed a close up of one of its compound eyes. It also has simple eyes and photovoltaic receptors on its tail.
    Horseshoe Crab
    We’ll have a new guess the specimen game up on Tuesday, but in the meantime won’t you tell us Who Pooped?

    Comment by nature — September 9, 2011 @ 11:23 am

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