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New York Times

The unexpected beauty of the cricket ballet

Their jumps resemble a dance.


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Posted on Nov 7, 2015   Updated on May 27, 2021, 4:40 pm CDT


Rajat Mittal, a mechanical engineering professor at Johns Hopkins University, first became interested in spider crickets, sometimes called camel crickets, as a homeowner.

The crickets are a highly successful invasive species, and one of the places they invaded was Dr. Mittal’s basement.

He was trying to get rid of them, but, because he studies flight and swimming and other movements, he couldn’t help but notice how well they jumped—up to about 60 body-lengths—compared with American crickets. “The thing that really got my attention,” he said, “is that they seemed to mostly land on their feet.”

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*First Published: Nov 7, 2015, 1:00 pm CST