I am ancient. Prehistoric. Perfectly suited to my habitat.
I have crawled upont the shores of planet earth for hundreds of millions of years. My design has not changed.
Species human has named me "Horse-shoe Crab" and I wear a large, broad, heavy carapace to protect my inner organs. When seen, I appear as a large crawling shell with long tail, slowly inching my way up onto the shores of America's eastern corridor, then slowly returning back into the deep. I do this only to spawn, when the moon is full and I sense the time to procreate. Of the thousands of eggs I bury, only 10 will survive. This is nature in it's most prefect balance, as many other life forms depend on me to exist.
My blood is blue-grey and every human on the planet has been positively affected by it. I am called "biomedically integral" to humanity. This is a welcome change from what once was, but I fear it will not be enough to save me.
Only as recent as ten years ago, I was harvested and killed to bait other animals. All the good I do now was unknown, and in only one year alone, over 2 million of my kind were killed, routinely. Just to bait other life. Today, there is a moritorium on killing me, but it will end in two years.
A wiser human of this age is now harvesting me for another purpose. I am caught, then drained of up to l/3rd of my precious blood, and returned into the sea. Unfortunately, I am greatly weakened by this process and almost 25% of us who undergo this procedure are not strong enough to survive it. Humans who perform biomedical research are trying to race the clock in finding a synthetic substitute for the ingredient found in my blood. It is greatly prized.
One-third of my blood, a matter of mere ounces, is valued at $15,000.00. Therein lies the reason I am now so protected. Yet the damage of years past cannot be repaired. My numbers are in decline as my shoreline habitat is decreased. Humans are once again encroaching upon this waterfront land, stealing my ancient habitat for themselves. They really don't need it.
In this guise I have managed to survive almost 400 million years. 400 million years. I've watched other life forms rise and fall, yet I have been successful. Not until the human being found my value was I ever in danger of becoming extinct. The present threat is incalculable.
When I am gone, it will be forever. The varied life that depends on me will suffer, but I can feel in my precious blood that species human will by then have found a substitute for it. They will survive. A species not even a half-million years in existence will go on, as my ancient heritage is lost for all time.
Somehow, nature will demand its due. All in balance.