The Awesome Arthropods

The Arthropod Lab by Gabby Trudo, Mitcham, period 6

Objectives

To explore the external parts of a grasshopper and crayfish, and to understand their functions.

Background Information on Arthropods

Arthropod is a phylum named after the jointed appendages that is the staple for all the organisms under this classification. All arthropods have the following characteristics; an exoskeleton, specialized mouth parts, jointed legs, compound eyes, and a segmented body. There are many different arthropods that live in land, on water, and practically everywhere on Earth. Spiders, crabs, grasshoppers, and bees are just a few of the organisms that fall under this phylum.

Background Information and Fun Facts on Captivating Crayfish

The crayfish's scientific name is Astacoidea, which is an infraorder under the order Decapoda, under phylum Arthropod. Crayfish are found in fresh water bodies all over the world; the largest diversity of crayfish is found in southeastern North America. The crayfish's predators range from raccoons, muskrats, and opossums to snakes and humans. Crayfish are nocturnal and do their hunting at night, they are omnivores and scavengers. Their most common prey is worms, insects, insect larvae; and fish, frog and salamander eggs. Crayfish fossil records go back 30 million years, the oldest fossil being 115 million years old.

Background Information and Fun Facts on Great Grasshoppers

The grasshopper's scientific name is Caelifera, which is the name of a suborder from the order Orthoptera, under the phylum Arthropod. While most grasshoppers eat grasses and leaves, and are herbivores. Grasshoppers are eaten by ants, rodents, birds, lizards, mantis, spiders and by humans in many parts of the world. Most grasshoppers prefer dry open landscapes with lots of grass and low plants, while a few species live in forests and jungles. Grasshoppers are found on all the continents except Antarctica. One species of grasshoppers is monophagus, meaning it can only eat one specific species of plant. While the majority of grasshoppers are usually green, brown, or gray in order to camouflage into their environment, there are a few species of grasshoppers that eat toxic plants, and the toxins stay in their body, and these grasshoppers turn bright colors as a warning to predators that they are toxic and should not be eaten.

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