This posterior dorsal view of a preserved crayfish shows the arrangement of the
abdominal muscles. Note the abdominal flexor muscles (1) that fill most of the
abdomen. These powerful muscles serve to flex (bend) the abdomen, providing the
force for the quick backward thrust of the tail when the crayfish is alarmed.
Also observe the two longitudinal bands of the abdominal extensor muscles (2),
which have been deflected backward to make them more visible. These
muscles, which run along the dorsal side of the thorax and abdomen, are
used in the weak recovery stroke after the tail has been flexed by the abdominal
flexor muscles. It is these two sets of muscles that provide most of the "meat"
that is eaten in crayfish (or lobster) tails! Also visible on the
dissection are the intestine (3), one of the fifth walking legs (4), carapace (7), uropods (5) and