Thursday, 10 July 2008

Fun with Horseshoe Crabs

Written by NSS Kids' Emily Blackburn

Barnacles like to choose horseshoe crabs as well as rocks for homes!


Today (6 July 2008) we went to the NSS Kids activity, Fun with Horseshoe Crabs @ the Mandai Mudflats! It was a fun-filled and exciting trip! We learnt all about horseshoe crabs from one of the volunteers Poh Bee. We managed to save a few horseshoe crabs from fishing nets left by some irresponsible fisherman. There were some secondary school youths who also came to lend a helping hand.



Poh Bee is explaining to us how horseshoe crabs moult and showing us actual moults.

Emily with her mother Tan Swee Ngin and her brother Nicolas. We are gingerly handling horseshoe crabs by their carapaces and not their tails.
We watched and learnt how to measure horseshoe crabs and how to tell the difference between male and female crabs. Horseshoe crabs may have the word “crab” in their name but they are actually related to spiders and scorpions. The most important part of their body is the tail because they need their tail to flip themselves over if they happen to be washed upside down by waves. These gentle creatures do not sting or bite but if you are not careful when handling them, you may get pricked accidentally by one of their sharp spikes.
The Mandai Mudflats are simply polluted with rubbish! No wonder lots of horseshoe crabs die!

Horseshoe crabs were collected and placed in plastic troughs. Volunteers would then measure their diameter, sex the crabs, record their findings and release the crabs.

Volunteers and students in action!

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Cute baby horseshoe crabs being measured.



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Sloshing on mudflats, looking for horseshoe crabs. Photo by Goh Si Guim.