WQCS Header Background Image
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Skywatch

Thu May 19, 2016 THE MOON AND THE HORSESHOE CRAB

The moon is nearly full this evening; May’s full moon always makes me think of horseshoe crabs out in the Atlantic Ocean. Not a true crab at all, but a distant relative of spiders and scorpions, the horseshoe crab is often called a living fossil because its kind has existed unchanged for hundreds of millions of years. In the springtime, usually in the month of May when the moon is full and the tide is high, the horseshoe crabs mate and lay their eggs in the sand at the water's edge, continuing the process that has brought them unchanged to the present day. Far above, the moon shines down upon them from a distance of a quarter of a million miles. The horseshoe crabs hardly see the moon, lacking proper eyesight for the task, but they are nevertheless driven to perform their mating ritual to the rhythm of the lunar spring tides