Movie star, billionaire, rock and roller, light snack or bait, crickets are more than just a chirping hopper. The little buggers sing through the summer, inspiring artists and entrepreneurs. Fish like to eat crickets, and we love their sultry song. Tune into these high notes on crickets.
Betcha Didn’t Know These 10 Facts About Crickets
1. Crickets sing love songs. To woo female crickets, males produce a piercing chirp by rubbing their legs together. After mating, males sing a different tune to defend territory.
2. The Crickets are a legendary band credited with the early development of rock and roll. Their first hit record, That’ll Be the Day, was re-leased in 1957 and reached number three on the Billboard 100. After lead singer Buddy Holly’s death in 1959, the band continued to tour and record for over 50 years. In 2012, The Crickets were inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
3. Crickets hear through tiny ear-like organs on their front legs. Their ears are close to the ground and very sensitive.
4. Cricket Wireless LLC, a pre-paid cellphone company founded by Leap Wireless International in 1999, was purchased by AT&T in 2013 for $1.2 billion.
5. To tell a cricket from a grasshopper, look at their antennae.
A grasshopper’s antennae are shorter than a cricket’s. Grasshoppers rub their hind legs with their wings to buzz rather than chirp. And grasshoppers are more active during the day.
6. Crickets are cold-blooded, so their metabolism speeds up as the temperature rises. The warmer the weather, the faster a cricket chirps. You can calculate air temperature in Fahrenheit by counting the number of chirps in 15 seconds and adding 40.
7. Cricket is played with a bat, ball, innings, runs and umpires. Developed in 16th century England, cricket is a precursor of American baseball. Although a half-million people play cricket, the sport only appeared in the Olympics once, in the 1900 Paris games.
8. Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice wrote the comic musical, Cricket, in honor of Queen Elizabeth’s 60th birthday. The show debuted at Windsor Castle in 1986.
9. An estimated two billion people regularly dine on crickets. They are a great source of protein; 100 grams of cricket steak boasts two to three times the amount of protein as beef steak. In 2014, Big Cricket Farms in Youngstown, Ohio, became the first insect farm in the United States to raise crickets exclusively for human consumption.
10. Disney’s iconic star, Jiminy Cricket, debuted in 1940 as Pinocchio’s wise sidekick. The top-hat wearing, umbrella twirling insect’s name is a minced oath.