|MadSci Network: Biochemistry|
Jereme, First, I will assume that you are talking about the molecular nitrogen there due to breathing/respiration (N2), as opposed to all of the atomic nitrogen that is present in the various molecules that make up the body of the cricket (N). I don't know the answer to this, but I think it is pretty easily estimated. First, I would guess that a cricket occupies somewhat less than a cubic centimeter (which equals 1 milliliter) of space, maybe 0.5 cm3. Next, I would imagine that the tracheal system of a cricket occupies somewhere between 10% to 25% of the volume of its body, so let's say 10% for convenience (you can change any of these estimations based on data that you might know about crickets). Next, I would assume that, given constant atmospheric air flow through the cricket's tracheal tubes, you can simply model the air in the the cricket's tracheal tubes as atmospheric air. Finally, knowing that air is 75% molecular nitrogen by weight (which I looked up), and that the density of air is 1.16 g/L at ambient pressure and temperature (which I also looked up), you can calculate the weight of nitrogen in a cricket at any average time. This calculation would be: (0.5 cm3)*(0.1)*(1 mL/1 cm3)*(1 L/1000 mL)*(1.16g/L)= 0.000058 g = 0.058 mg Chris
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