Fun Facts About Horseshoe Crab Season at the Jersey Shore
Here's why you should flip 'em and give them a hand if you find one on its back, plus more really cool things to know about horseshoe crabs, which, by the way, aren't actually even a member of the crab family!
Horseshoe crabs are harmless creatures that have been around longer than dinosaurs...but sometimes they get stuck on their backs and can use a little help, so feel free to give them a hand.
Horseshoe crab mating season will be in full swing this Friday, June 9th. They tend to be most active around that time due to the full moon.
According to the experts at the NJ Sea Grant Consortium, horseshoe crabs have been living on our planet for over 500-million years. That's why many people refer to them as living fossils.
The horseshoe crab is not, in fact, a crab at all. It's a member of the SPIDER family!!!! It has two compound eyes on the top of its shell that can see forward and backwards at the same time!
Horseshoe crabs also have many 'simple' eyes along the front of their shells that sense light and dark. Full moon, warm water, and high tide find the female horseshoe laying thousands of small blue eggs along the NJ bayfront shorelines.
Horseshoe crabs are harmless creatures. They have long, pointy tails that might be mistaken for stingers but they are NOT! Their tails actually help guide them like a rudder on a boat.
If you do encounter a horseshoe crab on its back, please flip it back over by putting your hands on either side of its shell and turn it over. Never hold it by its tail -- that would be like me holding you up by your thumb -- painful, and it could also break off this very important feature.
To take part in the Horseshoe Crab Twilight Walk this Friday evening, which includes a guided hike along Sandy Hook Bay and crafts, touch tanks, and other discovery-based activities open to all families starting at 6 pm, CLICK HERE!