Saturday, August 9, 2014
Sex On The Beach
Horseshoe crabs are often referred to as 'living fossils', having emerged during the Paleozoic Era, 540 million years ago. Not many creatures survive eon after eon, so there's got to be something advantageous about their method of reproduction. The male, who is smaller than the female (common among arthropods), mounts the female and she digs a hole in the sand where she deposits several thousand eggs at a time, and then he releases his sperm over them. While shore birds consume many of the eggs, enough survive to continue the species.