Monday, June 20, 2011

Ocean City NJ, Horseshoe Crabs

Ocean City NJ - Horseshoe Crabs
Recently, I was surprised to see Horseshoe Crabs on a tiny, pebbly beach along the back bay in Ocean City.  Most times, these ancient sea creatures select beaches along the Delaware Bay for their yearly mating and egg-laying ritual.

What attracted my attention as I took my morning walk, was a raucous group of seabirds frenetically scrambling around at the edge of a small sandy area along the bayfront.

"What could they be doing?" I wondered, "what are they so excited about?"

And then I realized what was going on.  A few Horseshoe Crabs had lumbered onto that small patch of shoreline and were trying to lay eggs.  To the birds, it was a gourmet breakfast.  I hope some of the eggs survived though, because these crabs are a unique and important species.  They were featured in a brief video on CBS Sunday Morning in their natural habitat.

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