This is a Horseshoe crab (or at least, I fear, an ex-Horseshoe crab) being held by Littleboy 2. You find the shells all over the beaches here, and they are beloved of the boys, especially my younger son, who has no fear of creatures*.
I do wonder sometimes if he will have a career as a naturalist. He will pick up ants, ladybirds, beetles and bugs, and inspect them gently, before putting them back on the ground - not pulling their legs off or harming them in any way. He always wants to pet dogs, stroke cats and look at birds (although the latter he is also inclined to chase...).
He adores crabs, and the other day at the beach, pulled a live one of these crabs out of the water and started waving it around, while we lamely advised from the shore: "Er, put it back, darling." Considering these creatures are pretty huge and rather prehistoric-looking (my brother-in-law, visiting this weekend, said they reminded him of Doctor Who monsters), this was remarkably fearless of him.
The fascination with crabs also extends to wanting to eat one - so I have had to promise him dinner at a 'crab restaurant'. Whether or not he will actually put one in his mouth once we are there, remains to be seen........
*This post is for this week's Gallery over at Tara's. Subject: Creatures.