A Rare Look into the Life of the Horseshoe Crab

An expert shares research, data on the Limulus polyphorus which is a common sight on south shore beaches.

Thanks to Ed Neale for providing this story on a horse shoe crab talk!


The horseshoe crab is a familiar sight to anyone who loves south shore beaches and Fire Island.

But it's likely many people don't know much about the species. But Dr. John Tancredi, Earth & Marine Science professor at Oakdale's Dowling College, and Long Island's long time expert on the Limulus polyphorus, intends to change that scenario.

Tancredi provided insight and knowledge about the species to an audience that gathered last weekend at the Sayville Historical Society's Edwards Exhibit House. They came to learn about the 450 million year old fossil that lives in the Great South Bay and the ccean surf.

The animal used to be exploited for fertilizer and is currently used for cancer and blood research. The "crab" that is not a crab but is closer related to spiders is still in whelk (conch) pots and chopped to be used as eel bait.

Part of the talk told of the population surveys that have revealed that the Limulus population in the Western Hemisphere is diminishing, also described were mating habits. For the best chance to see the horseshoe crab in action check out the local shorelines during the high Spring tides of May and June.

Arthur Kopelman April 12, 2013 at 11:28 PM
Just a minor correction, the correct scientifiic name is Limulus polyphemus


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