Thursday, February 23, 2012

Arriving soon!

Horseshoe Crab: Biography of a Survivor
is scheduled to be released on May 22, 2012.

Here are some early reviews:

"A fascinating, relevant, revealing, and endlessly enjoyable book." - Richard Ellis, author of The Great Sperm Whale and Tuna.

"An accurate and very readable introduction to Limulus polyphemus.  I highly recommend it." - Dr. Carl N. Shuster, Jr., The College of William and Mary.

"A reminder that a skillful storyteller can find a good tale anywhere." - Peter Laufer, author of The Dangerous World of Butterflies.

"An accessible, playful introduction to an ancient animals that continues to amaze us." - Michael Oates, video documentarian.

"An entertaining guide to a creature that's 445 million years old and still having sex on the beach." - Richard Conniff, author of The Species Seekers and Spineless Wonders.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

From Out of the Past - Part XI

As it turns out, horseshoe crabs have long been a primary bait source in capturing the American eel – a food source prized around the world.  While many of us may find the thought of consuming eels somewhat less satisfying than, say, a sizzling medium-rare filet mignon at the local steakhouse, an aromatic serving of Fettuccine Alfredo at our favorite Italian restaurant, or even a Whopper at Le Maison de Burger King, the consumption of eels is probably more prevalent than you might care to imagine.  While not a dish traditionally found in Western cuisine, eels are quite popular in many Oriental cultures, as well as throughout Europe, because of their numerous nutritional benefits, specifically:

§ Eels are high in Vitamins A, B1, B2, B12, D and E.

§ The consumption of eel “meat” decreases cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, and reduces the risk of developing arthritis.

§ Eels promote good eyesight, normal brain development, and nervous system function.

§ Eating eels reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and lowers triglyceride levels.

§ Eel is believed by the Japanese to be a culinary cure for lethargy. Many believe it helps people regain stamina sapped by heat or other causes.

§ Eating eel has been shown in certain studies to significantly reduce the chances of the development of type 2 diabetes among certain groups.

§ Incidentally, a fillet of eel (7.2 ounces) has about 375 calories.

          Most of the eels harvested along the eastern seaboard of the United States have been used to supply a burgeoning international market – primarily in Europe and Asia.  There is also a small, but sufficient market in North America, primarily directed at immigrants from other countries.  The 2005 Census of Aquaculture reports that three eel farms, one each in Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, are in operation.  Fishermen have often reported that horseshoe crabs are, far and away, the best bait to use to pot eel.
            But, we digress.