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horseshoe crab  (Source:
Sea-level rise and ocean temperatures are affecting horseshoe crab breeding

New research from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reveals that horseshoe crab populations may be declining due to changes in the climate

Horseshoe crabs are arthropods that have lived on the planet for approximately 450 million years. These ancient creatures have declined in population in more recent years, and the main reason is because of overharvesting (for fertilizer and bait) and coastal habitat destruction. But now, climate change may have some part in the dwindling numbers as well.

"Using genetic variation, we determined the trends between past and present population sizes of horseshoe crabs found that a clear decline in the number of horseshoe crabs has occurred that parallels climate change associated with the end of the last Ice Age," said Tim King, lead author of the study and a scientist with the USGS.

According to research by the USGS, accompanying water temperature fluctuations and sea-level rise have contributed to limited horseshoe crab interbreeding and distribution. This leads to a reduction in population, which is what happened when temperatures rose after the last Ice Age.  

Horseshoe crabs are not the only creatures affected by their decline, though. Migrating sea birds like the Red Knot depend on horseshoe crab eggs for food each spring. Red Knots usually eat horseshoe crab eggs at Delaware Bay during migration, but severe population declines in horseshoe crabs have occurred all along the eastern seaboard of the United States. Significant declines have also occurred in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. 

In addition, Atlantic loggerhead turtles have experienced a change in population due to the lack of adult horseshoe crabs in Chesapeake Bay. 

Now, conservation managers are using certain findings, such as the fact that adult male horseshoe crabs travel from bay to bay while females stay in one place, to create both local and regional strategies to help sustain the horseshoe crab populations, and help them to continue reproducing.  

"Consequently, harvest limitations on females in populations with low numbers may be a useful management strategy, as well as relocating females from adjacent bays to help restore certain populations," said King. "Both studies highlight the importance of considering both climatic change and other human-caused factors such as overharvest in understanding the population dynamics of this and other species."

This study was published in Molecular Ecology in August of this year.

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Tiffy got something right for once!
By rtrski on 9/2/2010 9:49:03 AM , Rating: 5
Unintentional and rather humorous accuracy from the resident dead horseflesh tenderizer:

But now, climate change may have some part in the swindling numbers as well.
{Emphasis added.}

RE: Tiffy got something right for once!
By kattanna on 9/2/2010 11:59:58 AM , Rating: 2
LOL yeah, thats a good "slip"

RE: Tiffy got something right for once!
By phxfreddy on 9/4/2010 12:24:54 AM , Rating: 2
Wooooot! Behold a work of art. A twist of phrase so marvelous I felt a thrill up my leg:

resident dead horseflesh tenderizer

By Captain Orgazmo on 9/4/2010 6:40:27 AM , Rating: 2
I felt a thrill up my leg

Nah, that was just Rover giving it a good shagging.

By angryplayer on 9/8/2010 8:11:43 AM , Rating: 2
Credit where credit's due. At least she's posting in blogs, instead of Another Character whom it took months for us readers to beat into him.

If I were as bad at my job . . .
By Denigrate on 9/3/2010 8:52:32 AM , Rating: 5
If I repeatedly performed at the low level shown by Ms. Kaiser, I would have been fired long ago.

It's sad how low the level of journalism has fallen at this once great website. If it continues to be so poor, I may have to cease my daily visits to Daily Tech.

RE: If I were as bad at my job . . .
By phxfreddy on 9/4/2010 12:27:13 AM , Rating: 5
This website long ago became "Monthly Tech" for me!

By nstott on 9/8/2010 9:55:59 AM , Rating: 2
My thoughts exactly. I hope Kris is paying attention.

450 million years
By ZachDontScare on 9/3/2010 3:22:56 PM , Rating: 4
So basically, this species which has survived 450 million years - which is 200 times longer than human-kind has walked the earth, includes countless ice-ages and warm-ups, and at least one planet-killer asteroid impact... cant handle a supposed 1 degree F temperature increase over 100 years.

And then these 'climate scientists' wonder why people dont buy their crap anymore.

RE: 450 million years
By phxfreddy on 9/4/2010 12:40:47 AM , Rating: 2
You have to give it to these climate snake oil salesmen. Al Gore and company took this scam and filled their bank accounts to the tune of 1 billion dollars and more.

All the while the liberal fools felt more important and relevant in their lives because they were "helping the planet".....should have gotten technical degrees instead of liberal arts and "social justice" degrees. Then they could have REALLY been relevant!

RE: 450 million years
By celticbrewer on 9/7/2010 9:06:07 AM , Rating: 3

Obviously it's over-fishing and loss of habitat that's more to blame than the global warming boogeyman.

RE: 450 million years
By kattanna on 9/7/2010 10:25:01 AM , Rating: 1
exactly, but that doesnt produce the scary headlines to bring in those page views

RE: 450 million years
By Grabo on 9/9/2010 4:32:28 AM , Rating: 1
Right, or:

It has survived for 450 million years, through countless natural variations and disasters, and is now in the blink of an eye(over the course of a hundred years or less) facing extinction. In the same tiny window of time, the most disruptive species on the planet has more members and means of disruption than ever. Coincidence?

Mightn't be rising temps but the odds are through the roof that humans are to blame.

Nature rocks
By rcc on 9/2/2010 2:43:14 PM , Rating: 2
This leads to a reduction in population, which is what happened when temperatures rose after the last Ice Age.

So, basically the whole article says that nature is doing what nature needs to do. Unless we are now blaming peoplekind for the end of the last ice age as well. Too many campfires?

RE: Nature rocks
By Mitch101 on 9/3/2010 9:14:20 AM , Rating: 2
Im sure were having an impact on nature but its also a part of nature for species to become extinct. Apparently a species were familiar with is on the chopping block potentially because of us or part of nature I dont know.

Just to illustrate the degree of biodiversity loss we're facing, let’s take you through one scientific analysis...
* The rapid loss of species we are seeing today is estimated by experts to be between 1,000 and 10,000 times higher than the natural extinction rate.*
* These experts calculate that between 0.01 and 0.1% of all species will become extinct each year.
* If the low estimate of the number of species out there is true - i.e. that there are around 2 million different species on our planet** - then that means between 200 and 2,000 extinctions occur every year.
* But if the upper estimate of species numbers is true - that there are 100 million different species co-existing with us on our planet - then between 10,000 and 100,000 species are becoming extinct each year.

Now if you follow Steven Hawkins humans need to get into space travel as humans have all their eggs in one basket which is earth. I believe his estimate was about 110 years left to humanity.

RE: Nature rocks
By Lerianis on 9/5/2010 11:31:34 PM , Rating: 2
Steven was a little...... stupid with that estimate, to be blunt. The fact is that humanity will survive MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH longer than 110 years on this planet.

RE: Nature rocks
By Grabo on 9/9/2010 4:20:09 AM , Rating: 2
'The fact is'?
Mankind is volatile, and has always been. Only post-industrialization have we really gotten the tools to really damage ourselves and everything else though. Technology and overpopulation are having a stampede and no one knows where it will end.

RE: Nature rocks
By rcc on 9/23/2010 2:05:55 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure we are having an impact on nature as well. Mankind has obviously had an impact on many species. But that wasn't the focus of the quote or the comment.

Like it or not,we are the worlds top predator. We will have an impact on the creatures around us. We also, in theory, are sentient and can decide to limit those losses if we want to. So far it's been iffy.

I have confidence in nature though. When an overpopulation of wolves lowers the rabbit population, nature manages to reduce the wolf population. I'm not guessing when humanity will get adjusted, it depends on our ability to adapt and expand, but I'm confident that if we all stay on this little blue ball doing what we are doing, that we will get an adjustment.

Some inconsistencies?
By vortmax2 on 9/2/2010 3:54:28 PM , Rating: 4
"Not So Lucky: Climate Change is Killing Horsesho3 Crabs"

"Sea-level rise and ocean temperatures are affecting horseshu3 crab breeding"

"New research from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reveals that horseshu3 crab populations may be declining due to changes in the climate."

See any inconsistencies here?

FYI: For some ODD reason, using the word "horsesho3" is preventing me from previewing.

RE: Some inconsistencies?
By nstott on 9/3/2010 10:45:05 AM , Rating: 2
yeah, the same thing happened to me. i isolated it down to the word "sho3."

RE: Some inconsistencies?
By jordanclock on 9/3/2010 11:27:34 PM , Rating: 2
Probably related to blocking those spam advertisements?

RE: Some inconsistencies?
By FITCamaro on 9/4/2010 10:47:52 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah there were bot accounts hawking sho3s there for a while.

May Be
By nstott on 9/2/2010 11:02:24 AM , Rating: 5
New research from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reveals that...crab populations may be declining due to changes in the climate.

Is that a definite "may be" or an indefinite "may be?"

It is also causing a loss of pirates
By mattclary on 9/2/2010 9:16:25 AM , Rating: 2
By acer905 on 9/7/2010 12:27:37 PM , Rating: 2
I say thats backwards. The loss of pirates is causing the warming. That way, the world just needs to have a few more pirates and everything will be good again. Win-win, right?

Same old doesn't cut it anymore
By BernardP on 9/2/2010 10:57:31 AM , Rating: 1
A dwindling number of people believe in these pointless eco-scare stories. Dr. Magudh Naharimadish Bathukazad has shown in a soon-to be-published paper that the declining number of believers is directly linked to rising temperatures in pro-AGW academic circles.

Nice pic of the new Razer computer mouse though.

By phxfreddy on 9/3/2010 9:49:44 PM , Rating: 2

Really funny one!

Global warming scientists == spread sheet scientists

The extent of their math ability is contained in Microsoft Excel!

No sympathy
By nct on 9/3/2010 11:17:12 AM , Rating: 2
They're the ultimate slackers of the animal kingdom! Unchanged for half a billion years, how lazy is that? It's about time they learn how to evolve.

Coelacanths, you're next!

RE: No sympathy
By phxfreddy on 9/4/2010 12:33:56 AM , Rating: 1
Not to mention fossilized liberals who have not had a new idea since Roosevelt's failed 1932 "New Deal" ...which was not even a new idea in itself! ( just recycled carnival barker hokum )

More Tripe from Tiffany
By phxfreddy on 9/3/2010 9:46:20 PM , Rating: 2
...the designated Daily Tech Global Warming Priestess and true believer.

Only a moron believes in MMGW now.

By Captain Orgazmo on 9/4/2010 6:42:46 AM , Rating: 1
Or just Jason Mick in drag flaming us all.

And so
By YashBudini on 9/3/2010 12:11:26 PM , Rating: 2
Republicans everywhere are looking forward to horseshow crab fest at Red Lobster.

By monkeyman1140 on 9/13/2010 5:54:23 PM , Rating: 2
The earth will fix itself once it rids the planet of pesky humans.

Last time the human population nearly died off it went down to an estimated 1500 humans left, the next time maybe earth will achieve flawless victory...

By RivuxGamma on 9/15/2010 9:19:29 PM , Rating: 2
I, for one, will be glad to get rid of the hideous things. Have you ever seen one in person? Was it flipped over? It's like looking at a queen alien's vaj.

"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home

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