Insect/Arachnid Physiology

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Dvandemon
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Insect/Arachnid Physiology

Postby Dvandemon » Mon Sep 06, 2010 10:57 pm UTC

I was just wondering how insect/arachnid's muscular, respiratory and nervous systems work
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PhoenixEnigma
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Re: Insect/Arachnid Physiology

Postby PhoenixEnigma » Mon Sep 06, 2010 11:17 pm UTC

That's an exceedingly broad question - you could research any one of those systems, for either arachnids or insects, for an entire career without a problem. If you have more specific questions, it's more likely that you'll get useful answers. If you just need an overview, wikipedia, as always, can provide.
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Re: Insect/Arachnid Physiology

Postby Dvandemon » Tue Sep 07, 2010 12:07 am UTC

Let's start with the muscular system of an insect, say the common housefly, how do the muscles work? I'm just asking about the muscle setup of an endoskeletal system
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Josephine
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Re: Insect/Arachnid Physiology

Postby Josephine » Tue Sep 07, 2010 1:23 am UTC

Dvandemon wrote:Let's start with the muscular system of an insect, say the common housefly, how do the muscles work? I'm just asking about the muscle setup of an endoskeletal system

you mean exoskeletal?
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Moose Hole
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Re: Insect/Arachnid Physiology

Postby Moose Hole » Wed Sep 08, 2010 3:25 pm UTC

Muscles either contract or relax. This helps move stuff.

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TheNorm05
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Re: Insect/Arachnid Physiology

Postby TheNorm05 » Sun Sep 19, 2010 6:24 am UTC

I know that the legs of some tarantulas move by way of hydraulic pressure, but beyond that I really don't know.

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garak1a
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Re: Insect/Arachnid Physiology

Postby garak1a » Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:01 pm UTC

Muscles used for insect flight attach to the interior surface of the exoskeleton, and pairs of muscles work in opposition, much like in Humans. However, certain insects have muscles that attach directly to the wing, though the more common method is below:

The difference is that when a muscle (dorsal-ventral) contracts, it changes the shape of the body from the inside, flattening it slightly in one direction, causing the anchored wings to move in one direction. An opposing muscle will then restore shape (longitudinal), causing the wing to move the other way.

Another key difference is that these muscles are called "asynchronous muscles". While normal muscles (synchronous) will contract once with each nerve impulse, asynchronous muscles have a built-in mechanism (I believe in the form of Ca2+ reservoirs) that creates a feedback loop, so that a single nerve impulse will trigger several muscle twitches. As a result, the speed of an insect's wing beat is faster than the speed and refresh period of its nervous system.

For more information on all things insects, please see http://salinella.bio.uottawa.ca/BIO3333 ... lt_TOC.htm This is the website of the Third Year Entomology course I took at the University of Ottawa. All the lectures are there, along with other useful tools. And the professor, Dr. Jon Houseman, is one of the best (he literally wrote the eBook used by the classes).
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omgsrsly
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Re: Insect/Arachnid Physiology

Postby omgsrsly » Sat Oct 02, 2010 2:23 am UTC

Insects breathe through spiracles that lead into a trachiole system, which is basically a series of open tubes that deliver oxygen directly to each cell. So insects don't have a circulartory (blood) system to transport oxygen, it just goes straight to each cell by diffusion :)

Don't know about arachnids, I suggest you looks it up though because it's a really cool topic! ....<nerrrd> :)

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Sockmonkey
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Re: Insect/Arachnid Physiology

Postby Sockmonkey » Sat Oct 02, 2010 7:23 am UTC

omgsrsly wrote:Insects breathe through spiracles that lead into a trachiole system, which is basically a series of open tubes that deliver oxygen directly to each cell. So insects don't have a circulartory (blood) system to transport oxygen, it just goes straight to each cell by diffusion :)

Don't know about arachnids, I suggest you looks it up though because it's a really cool topic! ....<nerrrd> :)

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Dvandemon
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Re: Insect/Arachnid Physiology

Postby Dvandemon » Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:08 pm UTC

The hydraulics of the spider makes sense I guess, because a spider leg got stuck on my iron at the joint and straightened out. So, what about the ganglia that can allow function without a head, is that related to the feedback loop of the muscles or is head loss so common certain species developed that?
nbonaparte wrote:
Dvandemon wrote:Let's start with the muscular system of an insect, say the common housefly, how do the muscles work? I'm just asking about the muscle setup of an endoskeletal system

you mean exoskeletal?
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jwwells
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Re: Insect/Arachnid Physiology

Postby jwwells » Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:46 am UTC

If we knew how insect nervous systems worked, we'd be a LOT better at tackling the problems of more complicated mammalian nervous systems. As it stands, the best we can say is that the general principles, and even some of the chemical transmitters, are similar or identical to the ones that operate in human neurons.

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Cobramaster
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Re: Insect/Arachnid Physiology

Postby Cobramaster » Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:24 pm UTC

Yay my insect physiology class has become relevant for a day.

The basics of the muscular system in insects are identical to that of vertebrates, except for the attachments are made to the inside surfaces of the skeleton. To get a good macro model go buy some snow or king crab legs and carefully remove the shell except at the joints and you will see ho the various muscles attach in a similar system.

The Respiratory is as said above a series or spiracles or small holes along the length of th body and limbs with various increasingly smaller more delicate channels delivering oxygen directly to the tissues from the air.

There is a limited circulatory system that serves the function of nutrient delivery and lymphatic system, serving as the backbone of the immune response, and hormone transport.

The nervous system does work in a similar fashion to to vertebrates though we know more due to the ease of working on the system except for the equivalent of the CNS in insects. Essentially what jwwells said in the regard.

Also note this only represents insect arachnids are much more complex in certain regards.
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