08/12/2013 01:41 pm ET Updated Aug 14, 2013

Cute 11-Year-Old Gets The Scoop On Horseshoe Crab Evolution (VIDEO)

An inquisitive 11-year-old got his science questions answered when HuffPost Live introduced him to a researcher who offered some insight into horseshoe crabs and evolution.

The budding science enthusiast is Eli, who lives on Martha's Vineyard, Mass., and found a bit of Internet fame after this YouTube video went viral. He recently visited the beach and returned home with a few inquiries about a horseshoe crab he saw in the surf. Host Josh Zepps gave Eli the chance to pose his questions to Dr. Hans Thewissen, a professor of anatomy at Northeast Ohio Medical University in Rootstown.

"There was a large, very big horseshoe crab that washed up on the beach and it was still alive and everything," Eli said. "It got me thinking, because of course horseshoe crabs are pretty much living fossils. They've lived so much longer than humans ... and they haven't changed virtually at all. So how does that happen?"

Thewissen explained that the horseshoe crab is indeed an incredibly old species, with the oldest fossils for the creature dating back 230 million years. But why have they evolved so little over that vast expanse of time?

In the video above, you can see Eli get his answer.

Check out the full conversation between Eli and anatomy professor Hans Thewissen at HuffPost Live HERE.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated that the horseshoe crab dated back 30 million years. The professor actually stated that it dated back 230 million years. The story has been corrected to reflect this.



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