Those creepy things that crawl on you...

Courtney Murphy; Mitcham; Pre-AP Bio; 2

At a glance...

An arthropod (or is an invertebrate animal having an exoskeleton (external skeleton), a segmented body, and jointed appendages.

It's part of the kingdom Animalia and the phylum Anthropoda. Athropods include insects, arachnids, and crustaceans. Since arthropods are such a wide range of animals, there is no specific scientific name. Their trophic level is a herbivore.

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A grasshopper is an insect.







Respiratory System up close

The exchange of gases in a grasshopper happen through the tracheal system but begins at the spiracles where air is taken in first. This system contains of ten spiracles located in the abdominal area and the others are thoracic. Oxygen diffuses into cells directly into the atmosphere and that completes the grasshoppers process of respiration. The air sacs that the tracheal system works to create can be compared to human alveoli because it stores carbon dioxide and oxygen when the respiration is taking place. However, we take air in from our mouths and nose while their spiracles do that with the control of their brains. A few of the spiracles are involved in the expiration of air as well. The human tracheae performs the role of cleaning air while the grasshoppers tracheal system works as an independent function not involving the circulatory system.
Grasshopper Anatomy Part 1

Ecological Role...

The grasshopper's ecological role is to fertilize its surroundings with its droppings, otherwise known as frass. Frass contributes to nutrient turnover which supplies plants with the nutrients they need to survive. However, grasshoppers can also have negative effects on their environments. They live off of various crops, and when they fly in swarms to feed, they can destroy them.


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Monster grasshopper

Human Impact/Influence

Grasshopper and human nervous systems have many similarities. Some scientists use grasshoppers to study how various chemicals would impact humans and as test subjects for new drugs.

Grasshoppers also benefit ecosystems through their droppings (frass), which contain plant nutrients that enrich the soil and fertilize new plant growth.

Interesting Facts!

  • They make their sound (music) by rubbing their wings or legs together.
  • Their average life-span is about one year
  • They have a hard exoskeleton to protect themselves
  • Grasshoppers cause billions of dollars in damage to food crops annually, worldwide.
  • Some people on other continents eat grasshoppers for nutrition
  • Fossils show that grasshoppers existed long before dinosaurs!


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Freshwater crustaceans resembling small lobsters.

Scientific Classification



Subphylum: Crustacea






They are a primary consumer.

Respiratory System Up Close

The Crayfish a very unique way of breathing. The gills of the crayfish are located on the outside of the body between the crayfish body wall and carapace. If you were to detach one of the crayfishes walking legs, you would observe that the crayfish's gill is attached to its walking leg. The crayfish's gills are attached to the walking legs, so as it walks, it can breath. A crayfish has a pocket where water is stored. The water is stored so the crayfish can walk on land and still breath. A crayfish has to have water in order to breath.

As the crayfish walks, the surface area of the gills spread so the water can pass through in order for the crayfish to breath.

Ecological Role

“Crayfishes eat everything and everything eats crayfishes.” is a common quote because crayfishes tend to eat anything including plants, which turn plants into energy so when an organism eats the crayfish, they get protein from the crayfish that their energy from those plants.
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America's Crayfish: Crawling In Troubled Waters

Interesting Facts!

  • They can move their eyes independently from one another.
  • Crayfish fight over their territory.
  • Crayfish can eat hot dogs and cat food. (not relevant, but interesting nonetheless)
  • Crayfish molt at the end of June. They usually eat their old skeleton in order to recover the calcium and

    phosphates contained in it.
  • The presence of crayfish in the water is a sign of lack of severe contamination. Crayfish cleanse the water of detritus and carrion.

Article about evolution of crayfish!