A look at Long Beach Island, New Jersey

Throwbacks to 450 million years ago – the horseshoe crab

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If you look in the shallow bay waters, you will occasionally see a Horseshoe crab. If you think they look weird, consider that they have been around for over 450 million years.

The are essentially harmless. It’s an armored crab with a spiky tail. However, they are not aggressive at all. Their claws are extremely tiny.  Blood from the Horseshoe crabs is harvested for detecting certain toxins. During the full moon in the fall, they will come into the shallow waters to mate. Smaller males will attach themselves to the tail of the larger females.

If you come across horseshoe crabs, they are fun to observe but it’s best to leave them be as their numbers are dwindling.

The particular horseshoe crab pictured here had some barnacles growing on it. That is unusual.

Horseshoe crab

Horseshoe crab

 

 

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