The horseshoe crabs were doing their thing at Long Reach this afternoon and it wasn't even high tide yet! Such fascinating creatures, as the Fish and Wildlife service notes, "Horseshoe crabs are evolutionary survivors that have remained relatively unchanged in appearance for 350 million years. The horseshoe crab is not actually a true crab, but a member of an ancient group of arthropods, closely related to spiders and scorpions."
"Horseshoe crabs can actually live out of the water for about four days. The crabs will bury themselves into the sand or fold their bodies up to hold on to water until the tide rises again and they can swim free...Horseshoe crabs will molt at least six times in their first year of life and about 18 times before they reach sexual maturity. Females are generally larger than males and may molt more than males to reach the larger size. Once crabs are sexually mature, which takes at least nine years, they won’t shed their shells again."
Ruth Zumstein and Mike Gonzalez also shared some great images of horseshoe crabs that can be viewed on our Facebook group when you CLICK HERE
(Submitted by Gina Snyder. June 2, 2021)