Analyzing an Arthropod

Arthropod Lab - Mitcham-PAPBio-2 - Irina Didenko

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Background Information

  • The grasshopper belongs to the phylum Arthropod and to the class Insecta. Some of its defining characteristics are three pairs of legs, two antennae, wings, no telson, spiracles for a respiratory organ, Malphagian as the excratory organ and a missing telson. Another feature are very big hind legs for jumping and small front legs for walking or holding prey. Most grasshoppers are either green or brown. Grasshoppers are herbivores and are prey to birds, reptiles, rodents. The grasshopper lives in grassy areas. The grasshopper has a body made up of three large parts which are the head, thorax and abdomen.
  • The crayfish is also part of the phylum Arthropod but of the class Crustacea. Some of its features include 5 pairs of legs, 4 antennae, no wings, gills as respratory organ and green gland as the excretory organ. Most crayfish are aquatic and live in freshwater habitats like rivers, lakes and ponds. Crayfish have very hard exoskeletons. Crayfish are omnivores and also eat decaying matter. Predators of the crayfish include humans, otters, snakes and other fish.

Obvious Objectives

We, the students examined two types of arthropods: a grasshopper and a crayfish. We looked for similarities and differences between these two animals to see how they are in the same phylum yet in different classes.


External anatomy of a grasshoper (Arthropoda)

Integumentary System - (External Anatomy)

Arthropods have jointed legs, bodies segmented into regions, appendages, antennae, mouth parts, separate sexes and most importantly an exoskeleton. Antennae are used by arthropods to detect levels of chemicals, communication and aids in finding a mate. The mouth parts are used for biting and chewing food and can sometimes look like little antennae. The exoskeleton provides support, and protection of internal organs. It is mainly made up of chitin and can shed a couple of times through out the animals life.

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