Arthropods Dissection

Julian Merville

Objectives

The objectives of the arthropod dissection is to examine two preserved arthropods- a grasshopper and a crayfish. Look for similarities in these two arthropods (phylum traits), and look for differences between the two arthropods (that would be class traits); grasshoppers are part of the insecta class, but crayfish are part of the class crustacea.

Background Information

The crayfish, or Astacoidea, is found is mainly freshwater environments, although a few crayfish live in salt water environments. Crayfish eat: small fish, shrimp, water plants, dead matter, insects, plankton, worms, and snails; crayfish are eaten by: Raccoon, opossums, foxes, big fish, some turtles, and humans. Crayfish are scavengers and consume dead organisms. One ecological adaptation of the crayfish is that they can camouflage with their environments, which allows it to hide from predators or sneak up on prey.

The grasshopper, or the caelifera, is found in most parts of the world (pretty much everywhere there is grass). Grasshoppers eat: grasses, leaves, and crops. Grasshoppers are eaten by: small birds, rodents, and nematodes. Grasshopper's droppings return nutrients, from consumed plants, back into the soil which helps fertilize the soil. Grasshoppers have developed long back legs which allows them to move quickly, and grasshoppers camouflage into the dirt and grass to hide from predators.

The Integumentary system

The integumentary system for grasshoppers and crayfish do not just serve for protection, but have many unique functions. The grasshopper's integumentary system includes wings, which allows the grasshopper to fly for a short distance; large hind legs allowing the grasshopper to propel forwards and move very quickly. The grasshopper also has antenna which allow the grasshopper to feel objects in front of it giving it another way to detect objects near it.

The crayfish's integumentary system also consists of unique parts including: antennae which serve very similar purposes that the grasshopper's antennae do. The crayfish also has large claws called cheliped that serve as a hand-like structure, allowing the crayfish to grab prey and other objects as needed; the cheliped also serves as a way for the crayfish to fend off predators. The crayfish also has a tail allowing for easier maneuvering through the water; the tail also has small legs underneath it called swimmerettes which aid in the movement of a crayfish.

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Fun Facts

-Grasshoppers have their auditory organs on their abdomens.

-Grasshoppers make "music" by rubbing their hind legs together.

-There are 200 different species of crayfish in North America.

-There is a blue colored crayfish.