Growing Up

Estimates on the number of eggs a female horseshoe crab lays range from around 9,000 to 60,000.  Migratory shorebirds rely on the eggs for food.  In areas where horseshoe crabs have declined, the numbers of migratory shorebirds have also declined.

Other animals eat the eggs such as raccoons and other types of birds.

Once the female horseshoe crab lays her eggs in the sandy shorelines during the months of May and June around the time of and during the full and new moons, the eggs are on their own.

Horseshoe crabs will not mate in captivity.  They seem to need the ebb and flow of the water, the moon, and the seasons to mate.

One can tell the burrows if one looks closely at the sand.  They look like indentations about the size of a half dollar.  Many people mistake them for sand that has caved in.

Just like turtles, the babies must make their way to the water.

It is not known how many survive this journey.

It takes about eight to ten years for a crab to reach adulthood.  They face many challenges along the way, especially from humans.