Horseshoe crab counting

The Eco-urban team joined Professor Christina Colon and a few research students from Kingsborough Community College and Fordham University to collect data for juvenile horseshoe crabs on Plumb Beach. The data is collected to survey the population of horseshoe crabs.

 

There is a tidal creek in Plumb Beach where the horseshoe crab juveniles are in the afternoon hours when the tide is low enough for us to be able to pick them up from the shallow waters. The horseshoe crabs form little burrows in the sand that are small dark trails. If you gently run your hands along the trail you, may be able to find one.

After 15 minutes of collecting them into a bucket, we counted and measured the width and documented it in a journal. 

Next, we moved on to another site on the beach to collect the eggs of horseshoe crabs.  We used a PVC tube cut in 2 different depths, and hammered the tube down to the appropriate depth and put the sand in a labeled plastic bag. We did this in 4 different locations. Afterwards, the students and Professor Mey took the data back into the lab to look into the horseshoe crab population and growth.

Horseshoe crabs are such interesting creatures. We learned that the blood of the horseshoe crab is used for testing medical products to ensure they are not contaminated.  Who would've known these ancient creatures could be so useful to us?