Heislerville, NJ - at East Point Lighthouse on the Delaware Bay. This female crab is motoring her way back to the water, apparently after some egg-laying. . . . #4186
The most interesting thing i learned on this first trip to experience the crab-spawn is that the horseshoe crabs need help.There are volunteers assigned to basically turn them rightside up after they may be flipped upside down, and left by a receding tide. The problem is apparently large rocks & cement chunks that are put on the beach to keep it from eroding. These things are not natural. When the tide is high the water sloshes up against these rocks and can flip the crabs upside down at that time. If they don't get un-flipped before the tide goes out - they likely just cook - no more horseshoe crabs. This i learned from a crab volunteer at Fortescue beach who talked about the problem and gave me a ride back to my car. On this beach he had spent upwards of half an hour flipping upside down crabs.
Volunteers are actually assigned to a schedule between the tides and go and put them upright. If they are still reasonably healthy, they can crawl back to the water on their own. This volunteer activity apparently continues until they are not spawning any more.
Here is some information about their spawning.
Also, you may be surprised (i was) to find out that horseshoe crabs have an important medical role:
Click 'til Large! . . .