Don Lewis Studies Two Tiny Juvenile Horseshoe Crabs
The Turtle Journal team revisited our “secret” horseshoe crab nursery on Thursday afternoon. We last checked this spot on April 18th; see Salt Marsh Awakening: Juvenile Horseshoe Crabs Active on Outer Cape Cod.
Rufus Examines Tiny Juvenile Horseshoe Crab
We wanted to get a sense of how well these ancient creatures may be doing, particularly in this long, chilly Spring. In the decade we have been checking this location each Spring for juvenile horseshoe crabs, we have never before seen so much activity.
Three Tiny Juvenile Horseshoe Crabs
Dozens of juvenile crabs from tiny to small to mid size bounced around the salt marsh tidal pool like Tonka Toy bulldozers plowing through a playground sandbox.
Juvenile Horseshoe Crabs Bulldoze Serpentine Mazes
We can only laugh at their antics as they carve serpentine mazes in the oozy bottom. Adult horseshoe crabs are beneficial auto-tillers of tidal and subtidal zones, a skill they obviously seem to practice from birth.
Juvenile Horseshoe Crab Left Compound Eye
The exceptional compound eyes of horseshoe crabs never cease to amaze us. Much of our knowledge about human eyesight came from studies of these compound eyes. Dr. H. Keffer Hartline received the Nobel Prize for his research on horseshoe crab vision in 1967.
Two Tiny Juvenile Horseshoe Crabs in Nursery
While documenting the science of this horsehoe crab nursery is rewarding per se, we confess that watching these juveniles spin around the tidal pool like pre-teens driving their first amusement park bumper cars can be mesmerizingly delightful. So much so that you forget that you’re even doing science.