Orgy on the Beach (for Horseshoe Crabs, Silly!)

If you live near the Delaware Bay shore, you can go there to witness one heck of a beach orgy happening now: thousands of horseshoe crabs are piling on top of one another mating ...

On the Delaware Bay shore, there's a swinging party that's been taking place for millions of years.

If you're a female horseshoe crab, then it's your night. You'll swim to shore, meet a special someone and he'll clasp onto the back of your shell. You and he will crawl onto the beach together, where you'll spawn at high tide under the light of the full moon.

But the mate attached to your shell is not your only tryst. On this night, you will mate with up to 13 males, all at the same time. Thousands of horseshoe crabs will pile on top of one another, glistening shells covering the beach for miles.

Louisa Jonas of NPR's All Things Considered has the story: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=106489695

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"By sunrise, most of the crabs will have vanished." Oh, that's so not true.

A lot of them get flipped onto their backs (all of the piling up of the orgy and whatnot) and if you look at the things you can see that there's no way for them to right themselves. So come morning, the Delaware beaches are COVERED with dead and dying horseshoe crabs. Many shorebirds feast on them, but after a day or so in the summer sun the crabs start to really stink.
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