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Horseshoe Crab


 Horseshoe Crab

The Horseshoe Crab, Limulus polyphemus, is one of the ecological wonders of the Delaware watershed. The population of this crab in the Delaware Bay is the largest in the world. One of the oldest living species existing for the past 450 million years, its eggs, almost pure protein, laid in late May and early June, provide food for the endangered Red Knot that stops to feed after a non-stop flight from South America on its way to breeding grounds in the Arctic. The Red Knot population on the East Coast is severely threatened because the Horseshoe Crab population has declined precipitously because of over fishing. A multi-state effort is underway to limit the take of Horseshoe Crabs in order to help the Red Knots survive. The Horseshoe Crab is not a crustacean but is more closely related to spiders and scorpions.

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