Horseshoe Crabs

We arrived on the east coast just in time for the spawning season of the horseshoe crab. It was a pretty amazing sight. The first night that we were at this little beach there were only one or two crabs, but a couple of nights later they were there in droves. Here is a male horseshoe crab (the small one) hitching a ride on the female up to the shore. The males have a small hook like claw that they can attach to her shell and basically be pulled to shore. Sometimes multiple males will hang on for a ride. They are beautiful creatures, quite prehistoric looking. We didn’t get to see the underside of the crabs except for when they were climbing up over the other crabs, or when the waves would flip one upside down. They use their tails like rudders to flip themselves back over if they get stuck. I was absolutely mesmerized by the crabs, as were the children. It truly was an amazing sight. We laughed when we saw several horseshoe crabs with little seaweed toupes. Here’s another one. We had never seen horseshoe crabs in person before, so we were extra pleased with this unexpected treat on our trip. Here are some seagulls waiting to eat the horseshoe crab eggs that were laid in the sand. As the horseshoe crab population goes down (from people harming and taking them), the seagulls which feed off of the eggs also begin to have problems. Here is some more info on horseshoe crabs if you are interested. They are amazing creatures with lots of fun facts to learn.

nature, travelling • Monday, June 14th, 2010 • 8 Comments »
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8 Responses to “Horseshoe Crabs”

  1. Sandie says:

    Excellent photos of pretty amazing creatures – I’ve never heard of them before – thank you for sharing!

  2. I’ve only seen them on tv in nature programmes – thanks for sharing you wonderful photos!

  3. French Knots says:

    Gosh aren’t they amazing, I’ve never seem anything like them. And what lazy males – typical blokes!

  4. Rosie Girl says:

    It’s not too often that I hear of a new-to-me animal. Something about getting old, huh. Thanks for sharing this very cool animal. Off to check your link…

  5. Petit Filoux says:

    I’ve never seen anything like it! They are really interesting creatures

  6. golly that was an education! I hope they aren’t hunted/scavenged out of existence!

    Sarah x

  7. Mousy Brown says:

    How pre-historic looking they are! I am off to look at that link – love your photos! 😀

  8. Rattling On says:

    They are fantastic! Great pictures of them, we don’t get them here, more likely to be jelly fish.

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