Grasshoppers camouflage themselves from their enemies and jump or fly away if they are spotted. Once cornered, grasshoppers have the ability to spit a bitter brown liquid at a predator and can bite with their strong jaws. Birds, rodents, mantises, reptiles, beetles and spiders commonly prey on the grasshopper and are recipients of these defense mechanisms.
A grasshopper can jump amazing distances. The strong hind legs work like springs, storing up potential energy until it is released, catapulting the grasshopper's body into the air. The grasshopper is able to use its wings to fly after the jump provides the necessary boost into the air. Grasshopper spit naturally repels would-be attackers. It is composed of partially digested materials and is slightly acidic, though it is not harmful.
Besides unique defense mechanisms, the grasshopper has several other features that make it stand out among insects. Membranes on the abdomen that vibrate in response to sound waves allow the grasshopper to hear others of its kind. The hind legs of the grasshopper rub against the forewing to make a unique sound. The grasshopper is a very ancient animal, with prehistoric fossils first occurring 300 million years ago. They are a source of protein in the diet in many areas of the world.