High Tide for Horseshoe Crabs

Right now, we are in the midst of the annual spring migration. Birds that overwintered in Central and South America are returning to the northern edges of North America. This means that along the Atlantic flyway, it is also the annual horsehoe crab spawning. These prehistoric creatures are amongst our oldest species, having inhabited this earth for five hundred million years.  For the past 10,000 years or so, the horseshoe crab has played a critical role in the maintenance of bird populations on the East Coast of North America.  In May and June, horseshoe crabs all along the East Coast, and in particular, along Delaware Bay, crawl to shore to lay their eggs. As birds stop to rest along the route from the tropics to the arctic, they spend up to two weeks in the Delaware Bay, feeding and resting in order to complete their migration. Within that time period, each bird doubles its body weight, thanks to the thousands of horseshoe crab eggs it consumes. High Tide for Horseshoe Crabs illuminates this incredibly important event.

Continue reading and see the lesson plan at The Classroom Bookshelf.

Image source The Classroom Bookshelf.

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