|Primary Format: Paper|
|Size:||5.5 x 8.5 in.|
Crab Wars: A Tale of Horseshoe Crabs, Ecology, and Human Health
William SargentPaper: $24.95
"Makes for fascinating reading . . . Crab Wars offers a compact introduction to the horseshoe crab and the controversy it has recently engendered."
--Journal of the History of Biology
Here’s a species older than time, a species key to the great migrations transecting our planet—and in the space of a few years our short-term interests have brought it close to ruin. It’s a powerful metaphor (one wishes it were only a metaphor) and its tale is told with enormous care and balance. And with just the faintest hint of optimism at the end.
—Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature
In this unusual alert to species depletion, Sargent's heartfelt concerns for the horseshoe crab illustrate the human side of scientific inquiry.
A popular interest book about how a 300 million year old organism became essential to the modern pharmaceutical industry. Sargent traces the discovery of horseshoe crab blood as the perfect in-vitro test for gram-negative bacteria through the development of a multi-million dollar business. He recounts the battles between multinational pharmaceutical companies to "bleed" enough crabs for Limulus lysate and the demand for crabs by the bait fishery. Regulation of the fishery by individual states complicates the issue of preserving this natural resource.
[M]akes for fascinating reading . . . Crab Wars offers a compact introduction to the horseshoe crab and the controversy it has recently engendered.
—Journal of the History of Biology
Sargent...has crafted a surprisingly engaging tale ... Crab Wars makes for a helpful - and entertaining - case study.
This new edition contains five additional chapters, a new epilogue, and a decidedly enlarged perspective on the possibilities for the future of these creatures given the new biomedical challenges now faced by humanity and the possibility that synthesizing what their blue blood was once the only known source of may now be possible.
—The Well-Read Naturalist
This 2021 update of a book originally published in 2002 has lost none of its relevance and has actually gained some in light of the COVID-19 pandemic…Refreshingly non-academic despite its publication by an academic press…A science/medicine book with a breezy style.
Crab Wars is measured, thoughtful, informative, examining the crab's use in medicine from the 1950's to Operation Warp Speed.... (It )is a "must-have" for both college and public library Science and Environmental Studies collections, highly recommended.
—Midwest Book Review
This beautifully written book is nonfiction but it reads like a particularly gripping novel. It’s filled with natural history, scientific discovery, pharmaceutical developments, and plenty of politics, and yet, Sargent tells the horseshoe crabs’ tale with enormous compassion and balance.
The fascinating story of the horseshoe crab is a thought-provoking and sobering reflection on the unintended consequences of scientific progress and the dangers posed when self-regulating industries control a limited natural resource.
William Sargent is a consultant for the NOV A Science Series and is the author of numerous books about science and the environment, including A Year in the Notch: Exploring the Natural History of the White Mountains and Storm Surge: A Coastal Village Battles the Rising Atlantic. Formerly director of the Baltimore Aquarium and a research assistant at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, he has taught at the Briarwood Center for Marine Biology and at Harvard University.