The Secret Lives of Horseshoe Crabs- Guest Blog on Cool Green Science

Horseshoe crabs coming ashore to get it on. (c) Gregory Breese/USFWS

Horseshoe crabs coming ashore to get it on. (c) Gregory Breese/USFWS

The lapping waves and silent dunes of the Delaware Bay shoreline create a perfect backdrop for a moonlit summer stroll. But a few weeks ago, this beach was not nearly so quiet. Instead, the silver light of the full moon shone upon jostling crowds of horseshoe crabs.

“If the crabs were rocks,” says Moses Katkowski, marine conservation coordinator with The Nature Conservancy, “you could walk on their backs the entire stretch of beach and never touch the sand.”

Every year, they emerge from the depths for one reason and one reason only: sex.

Lots and lots of sex.

Long before Roman emperors threw outlandish orgies, horseshoe crabs—contemporaries of the first sharks, wooly mammoths, and now us—have been making annual migrations to the shore to forge the next generation...

Read full post featured on The Nature Conservancy's Cool Green Science blog.