Exploring Arthropods

Arthropod Lab Shivam Aggarwal P1 Vu Pre-AP Biology


No matter how large the phylum Arthropoda may be, all animals part of it have similar characteristics. For example, all arthropods: have jointed appendages (legs), have a chitinous exoskeleton, have bodies divided into regions, exhibit bilateral symmetry, and have an open circulatory system. However, as arthropods get broken down into smaller and smaller groups, certain differences become apparent in the animals, such as how a crawfish (picture on top) has a telson, while a grasshopper does not. These arthropods are also found in different environments, with their own special adaptations. The crawfish breathes through a set of gills because it lives underwater and has a pair of antennae to sense movement of predators underwater. Grasshoppers, on the other hand, breathes through spiracles and also has set of antennae to detect predators. Crawfish are useful to humans because they clean up dad plant and animals matter, as well as being a tasty treat. Grasshoppers can be both helpful and harmful. They can be helpful to animals and human as a source of food and consume plants that farmers find useless in their fields. However, grasshoppers also damage crops grown by humans.



The Investigation

Today's Objectives

Today we will be focusing on the external and internal anatomy of arthropods. Students will be learning the organs and functions of the respiratory system.

The Respiratory System

Because crawfish live underwater, they breathe through a set of gills to obtain oxygen. The gills are able to take out the oxygen found in the water and provide it to the body organs. Grasshoppers breathe using spiracles, which are tiny holes found in the thorax and abdomen. Spiracles allow for gas exchange and allow oxygen to enter the body. However, instead pf a circulatory system, grasshoppers have a series of tubes called a tracheal system which takes the oxygen to wherever it is needed in the body.