Horseshoe Crabs: A Keystone Species
The Horseshoe crabs are brought down to the New Jersey and Delaware coasts by warming waters every spring. The crabs-not actually crabs- lay eggs in large amounts around the same time that approximately a million shorebirds stop at the coasts while on their migration flight. The shorebirds (as many as 30 different species) consume the eggs of the horseshoe crabs in an attempt to double their body weights. The NJ and Delaware coasts serve as pit-stops for the birds, where instead of consuming minute snacks such as a bag of chips or a drink, the birds consume food essential to allowing them to survive and successfully migrate.
#keystonespecies#morethanjustpitstopfoods#horseshoecrabs Source: www.cumauriceriver.org. Pic creds:tbrnewsmedia.com
Very cool to see this coyote sprinting through a field of bison. A little bit of info below if ya wanna learn some cool stuff 🤙🏽
Despite the cougar, wolf and coyote eradication efforts induced by humans since the 1900s, the coyote populations remained due to their high intelligence and adaptability. A vacant niche left by the wolf was partially filled by this slightly smaller, very similar species. After the recent reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park, the coyote populations have receded and the data resulting from the relationship of the wolf and the coyote allows scientists to further prove the importance of wolves as a keystone species.
Jitterbug's fame is always growing and my guess is because she has a lot of personality. She is also easy to identify with her odd shaped snout. I was solo in this moment and was about to start my safety stop when I saw a shy lemon shark with a big hook. I tried to work it out but was unsuccessful. Half a second, after trying to gain the lemon sharks trust, I turn around and Jitterbug was extra curious and bumped my camera.
I have quite a bit of tiger shark photos from this month. Good thing sharks are my favorite animal and tigers are my favorite species of sharks. More importantly, photographs are one of the best way to identify individuals by looking at spot patterns, scars, etc. Some passengers wonder and ask about the whereabouts of certain key players at tiger beach. Everyday we see one, we are happy to know they survived another day.