New Threat to Ancient Creature.

Horseshoe crabs under a full moon on Plumb Beach, Brooklyn. Photographer by Klaus Schoenwiese (

The New York Times reported on a growing threat to an ancient signature creature of New York Harbor, the horseshoe crab. This species is a particularly exciting window into our deep past and biotech future, but is under increasing threat from poachers seeking to profit from them as bait, exotic cuisine, and a pharmaceutical resource. Please learn more about the fascinating habits and history from Nature Calendar.

While it’s easy to sympathize with people trying to earn a living, Jamaica Bay’s greatest guardian reminds us in the NY Times article to keep a less selfish perspective:  “The horseshoe crab can’t do anything else, the fisherman can,” said Don Riepe, the president of the Northeast Chapter of the American Littoral Society, a conservation group that is active in the bay. “A fisherman can fish for something else,” he said, “or drive a cab.”

The increasingly poached horseshoe crab. This maring cluster is on Broad Channel Island. Brian Harkin for The New York Times.