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Crayfish

The crayfish is a freshwater crustacean that lives in Laurel Lake and in the streams that feed the lake. Crayfish live in manylakes, rivers, and streams on every continent except Africa and Antarctica.

The crayfish varies in color from white to brown including all thepinks, oranges, and tans in between. They rarely exceed 6 inches in length.

The body of the crayfish is covered with a hard material called an exoskeleton. The exoskeletonprotects the soft tissues of the crayfish's body. The body consists of segments. The anterior part of the crayfish's body is hard, but the posterior part, or abdomen, has movable segments.

Crayfish have 10 legs- 5 on each side. The front two legs are larger than the restand are shaped into large, sharp claws. Many people referto these claws as pinchers. The front claws are like those of lobsters.

The crayfish, like most animals, exhibits bilateral symmetry- what you see on one side, you see on the opposite side. The four pairs of smaller legs are used for walking.Leglike structures called swimmerets, located under the abdomen, are used for reproduction. Crayfish also possess 2 large and 2 small antennae used for feeling.

The crayfish diet includes snails, insects, small fish, and other aquatic life forms. Crayfish arenocturnal.