This adult female horseshoe crab was badly tangled in a line that was twined all around her claws and body. We managed to cut it free, and Don (the group leader) brought her back down to the water's edge and sent her on her way.
Atlantic Horseshoe Crab (Limulus polyphemus), Tampa Bay, Florida
Horseshoe crabs mating in shallow water
They are pretty common in this area, though live, mature specimens are less common. Usually solitary. Front-most piece of the carapace was no wider than a foot, though the entire length was more than a foot.
Mating. One of the few attached pairs seen during daylight hours.
Last call for us. We ate dinner in town and then went out again (high tide was around 9:30). The full moon was beautiful--when it was visible amongst the clouds. There were many more copulating pairs being tossed around in the surf. But obviously a bit trickier to photograph well.
Orchard beach, mating season begins
Waves knocked it up on shore, upside down. I returned it right side up, and it scuttled back from whence it came. Only one seen. An early breeder?
when sun was almost set they started to move ashore
There were a bunch of these moving around on the sandbar. This one looked like it survived a close encounter with a toothy predator.