Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department



Life History and Behaviour

Life History and Behaviour

How do horseshoe crabs grow with their "armours"?

[Size of 1st 14 instars of horseshoe crab]
Size of 1st 14 instars of horseshoe crab

[A molting horseshoe crab]
A molting horseshoe crab
Like other animals with shells, horseshoe crabs make themselves new "armours" when the old ones become too small. When the new shell is ready, it will crawl out from the split around the front edge of the old shell and abandon it. After each molting, a horseshoe crab is about one-quarter larger than it was before.
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Last Review Date : 09 August 2013