Books & Reading Material: The Horseshoe Crab Book List

Looking to expand your reading list? Need a gift for a friend who lives by the beach? Use the links below to discover some great book finds... they'll take you directly to a website where you can purchase them online.

Microscopic Anatomy of Invertebrates, Chelicerate Arthropoda (Volume 8A) Volume 8A Edition by Frederick W. Harrison (Editor), Rainer F. Felix (Editor)…

Presented in 15 extensively illustrated volumes, it provides specific and exhaustive coverage of all the major invertebrate phyla, offering full accounts of their gross, histological, and ultrastructural anatomy. The 15 individual volumes are arranged phylogenetically, beginning with the protozoa, defined herein as the motile protists, and concluding with the invertebrate members of the phylum Chordata. Although gross and external anatomy are discussed in some detail, the emphasis of this work is consistently on functional invertebrate anatomy, particularly at the ultrastructural level. It does not remain limited to fundamental descriptions of anatomical structure but rather goes beyond that level to offer a compelling view of microscopic anatomy that relates structure to function in various organisms.

Horseshoe Crabs and Velvet Worms: The Story of the Animals and Plants That Time Has Left Behind by Richard Fortey 

A fascinating chronicle of life’s history told not through the fossil record but through the stories of organisms that have survived, almost unchanged, throughout time.

Horseshoe Crab: Biography of a Survivor Paperback by Anthony D. Fredericks

Traveling from the Delaware Bay to the Florida Panhandle, this examination is a quest through the natural history and science behind one of nature’s oldest and oddest survivors—the horseshoe crab. With ten eyes, five pairs of walking legs, a heart half the length of their bodies, and blood that can save a person’s life, horseshoe crabs have been on this planet for 445 million years—since long before the dinosaurs arrived. This book explores their unique biology and sex life, explains their importance to medical science and migratory shorebirds, and introduces readers to the people who are working to study and protect them.

The Bumpy, Lumpy Horseshoe Crab by Janice S. C. Petrie

The Bumpy, Lumpy Horseshoe Crab is a horseshoe crab adventure with a happy ending. This picture book has a whimsical, rhyming style, and portrays horseshoe crabs exhibiting behaviors that they commonly use in real life. It's the perfect choice for a family read-aloud for children 3-10 years old. It also is a great tool for teachers who are studying marine life, tidepools, or coastal sea animals. The fun, colorful, simply drawn illustrations are expressive, and bring each sea creature to life. Although two horseshoe crabs are the central characters, periwinkles, limpets, barnacles, and green and Jonah crabs are also portrayed in the story. At the end of the story, there are pages containing information about horseshoe crabs and other sea animals that appear in the story.

Nate and the Horseshoe Crabs by Nathaniel Newton

While out fishing one day, a puffin bird named Nate along with his friends discover thousands of struggling horseshoe crabs covering the shoreline. Nate wants to rescue each and every one of them but, Nate's friends are fearful of horseshoe crabs. What will Nate's friends do? Will they just close their eyes and hope they disappear? Will they overcome their fear?

Changing Global Perspectives on Horseshoe Crab Biology, Conservation and Management by Ruth H. Carmichael (Editor), Mark L. Botton (Editor), Paul K.S. Shin (Editor), Siu Gin Cheung (Editor)

This book reports significant progress of scientific research on horseshoe crabs, including aspects of evolution, genetics, ecology, population dynamics, general biology and physiology, within the recent 10 years. It also highlights the emerging issues related to world-wide conservation threats, status and needs. The contributions in this book represent part of an ongoing global effort to increase data and concept sharing to support basic research and advance conservation for horseshoe crabs.

Nelson Telson: The Story of a True Blue Blood by Heidi May

A must-read for humans of all ages, this middle grade novel grows up before your very eyes. Painfully shy and lonely, eleven-year-old Mariah Miller hates being a human; she’d rather be an animal so she wouldn’t have to go to school and deal with mean old Mrs. Tarbox and her nasty cousin, Travis, who has invaded her life. Enchantment abounds when she finds a magic spearhead on the beach that allows her to talk to a wise old horseshoe crab and a host of other animals. Her father becomes seriously ill, and throughout her trials in the real world, she is often surprised by the unpredictable power of the spearhead. As she travels through time and space, and listens to the wisdom of creatures and people, Mariah makes leaps in her own personal growth, discovers the interdependence of all living things, learns how perspective creates reality, and what it really means to be human.

Migrations of the Horseshoe Crab, Limulus Polyphemus, in Plum Island Sound, Massachusetts by U S Fish and Wildlife Service (Author)

Excerpt from Migrations of the Horseshoe Crab, Limulus Polyphemus, tagged in Plum Island Sound, Massachusetts from 1951 through 1954.

The Narrow Edge: A Tiny Bird, an Ancient Crab, and an Epic Journey by Deborah Cramer

In a volume as urgent and eloquent as Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, this book—winner of the Southern Environmental Law Center’s 2016 Reed Environmental Writing Award in the book category--reveals how the health and well-being of a tiny bird and an ancient crab mirrors our own.

Biology and Conservation of Horseshoe Crabs, edited by John T. Tanacredi, Mark L. Botton, David R. Smith

Written for Conservation biologists, ornithologists, ecologists and medical professionals, the Biology and Conservation of Horseshoe Crabs, offers proceedings from a ground-breaking 2007 international symposium at Dowling College on the science and conservation of the horseshoe crab. Horseshoe crabs are well-known as “living fossils” with a geological history covering hundreds of millions of years and an ancestry reaching back 455 million years to the doorstep of the Cambrian. In spite of this longevity, each species now faces common and growing threats. Loss of essential spawning habitat due to erosion and shoreline development, coastal pollution, and overfishing all threaten horseshoe crab populations. Symposium participants from around the world gathered to share knowledge, present research results, and identify conservation challenges facing horseshoe crabs. This shared international knowledge and experience is presented here as a beginning in our collective efforts to conserve the world’s horseshoe crab species. Throughout the book, the reader will find results of new studies, and authoritative reviews on the science and conservation of all four of the world’s horseshoe crab species. Copies of the proceedings can be found at

The Watchers by Terry Moore

In the new children’s novella by Terry Moore, three lonely children learn about the strength of friendship, respect and devotion to something larger than their individual selves as they help save an endangered species and form a family of their own. Terry Moore’s moving, timely story shows us the plight of the horseshoe crab, and their importance to the health of the planet, through the eyes of children. This book can effectively bring the issues of pollution, ecology, and working together for change into classrooms and homes not only in New Jersey, but anywhere.
The American Horseshoe Crab edited by Carl Shuster

Carl N. Shuster, Jr., H. Jane Brockmann, and Robert B. Barlow are at the forefront of research on Limulus polyphemus, and in this book they bring together twenty scientists who have worked on all aspects of horseshoe crab biology to compile the first fully detailed, comprehensive view of the species. An indispensable resource, the volume describes the horseshoe crab's behavior, natural history, and ecology; its anatomy, physiology, distribution, development, and life cycle; the puzzle of its immune system; and its present management and future conservation. Published by Harvard University Press.
Crab Moon by Ruth Horowitz, illustrated by Kate Kiesler

Tells the story of a boy who visits the beach with his mother to watch the horseshoe crabs  spawning, then returns the next morning and rescues a crab that has been stranded and left marooned on the beach. The New York Times cited Crab Moon as one of the  ten best children's books of the year 2000, and the National Society of Teachers of Science designated it as an outstanding science trade book for children.
Limulus in the limelight: A species 350 million years in the making and in peril, edited by John T.Tanacredi.

Contains 14 chapters covering the horseshoe crab's biology, ecology and evolutionary development.
Extraordinary Horseshoe Crabs by Julie Dunlap

In a clear and engaging style, Extraordinary Horseshoe Crabs details the animals' anatomy, neurobiology, egg-to-adult development, evolutionary relationships, and ecological importance. It's the perfect resource for classroom investigations as well as individual explorations.  This book will help you discover how crucial horseshoe crabs are to migrating shorebirds, and how people are working to help horseshoe crabs keep crawling into the future.
Trilobite : Eyewitness to Evolutionby Richard Fortey

320-page paperback that explores the paleontology of the trilobite. Great for anyone interested in how the planet was formed and how species developed.
Ribbons of Sand - Exploring Atlantic Beaches by Larry Points

Ribbons of sand looks at the beauty of beaches along the East and Gulf Coasts. Subjects include sand, seashore plants and animals, and beachcombing objects which are of common interest to children and their families. Environmental concerns of the sensitive seashore habitat are also explored.

Crab Wars: A Tale of Horseshoe Crabs, Bioterrorism, and Human Health
by William Sargent

Scientist, entrepreneurs, and environmentalist collide in a battle over the horseshoe crab and the lucrative biotech industry based on its blood.