Just Flip ’em

Student Horseshoe Crab and the Arts contest winner

Student Horseshoe Crab and the Arts contest winner

The Ecological Research & Development Group (ERDG), a non-profit wildlife conservation organization founded in 1995 with the primary focus conserving the four remaining horseshoe crab species, announced the flip’em campaign.

Our Just flip ’em! program is designed to bring attention to the hundreds of thousands of horseshoe crabs (Limulus polyphemus) who die each year from stranding (stuck upside down) during their yearly spawning ritual and to encourage individuals, through a simple act of compassion, to take the time to assist and appreciate these remarkable creatures, who will not survive public indifference.

The idea is simple: when you see a horseshoe crab that is stranded upside down on the beach, just flip them over. It’s important not to flip them by their tail, however. Even though it looks scary, the tail is very delicate and can be easily damaged. The best way to turn them over is by the edge of their shell. No need to be cautious; the horseshoe crab doesn’t bite or sting and it’s claws are very gentle and won’t hurt you.

Make sure you catch the mp3 of the Just flip’em song!

(Verse 1)
If you take a little walk down by the sea
You just might find some horseshoe crabs washed up on the beach.
And if theyʼre stranded upside down and if their legs are in the air,
Tell yourself, “Iʼm gonna help them out; Iʼm gonna walk right over there.
Just flip ʻem, flip ʻem over. Flip ʻem over, let them live.
Just flip ʻem, flip ʻem over. They need all the help we have to give them.
Flip ʻem, flip ʻem over and very soon youʼll see
Those horseshoe crabs will be making their way back home to the sea.

Dr. M (1730 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, a National Science Foundation supported initiative. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (http://deepseanews.com/), a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web. His forthcoming book, Science of the South (http://www.scienceofthesouth.com/), connects cultural icons of South such as pecan pie with the science behind them.

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