Summary: You might have known that cockroaches can survive for a week with its head cut off, but did you know that the cockroach species might be able to predict earthquakes? Find out more interesting cockroach facts.
The cockroach species has a nasty reputation. They are known to spread disease by carrying contaminants on their bodies after crawling through sewage or other waste. Seeing one scurry across a kitchen floor can be quite startling. People do not want them in their homes and will hire an exterminator to perform pest control. However, cockroaches are an important part of the world's ecosystem. They eat a lot of organic waste and they provide a food source for larger animals. Here is some more info I have found about cockroaches.
• There are 5,000 species of cockroach. Only about 30 of these species are know to be commonly found in human homes.
• Most cockroach species are found in the tropics.
• Different behaviors are hardwired in nerve groupings throughout a cockroach's body so that they don't necessarily need their brain to perform actions such as walking or breathing.
• Cockroaches don't have blood vessels like a mammal does, and their blood is not used to carry oxygen. Their blood is usually white or clear in color. The cockroach's blood is not really pumped by their heart, either. It kind of sloshes around the cockroach's body.
• Cockroaches become more active during earthquakes.
• Cockroaches can walk up walls because of many small hairs on their feet that can create suction.
• Large cockroaches are more likely to wander around than small cockroaches.
• Cockroaches can live for a month without food, and a week without water.
• Cockroaches can live for a week after their head has been cut off. This is because their breathing is not regulated by their brain and because they do not lose much blood because they don't have blood pressure like a mammal. They will eventually die of dehydration.
• Female cockroaches prefer weaker males over dominant males when they mate. The dominant males must fight for the females to prevent them from mating with weaker males. This seems to go against Darwin's theory. Research has shown that dominant males often injure the female during mating, but the females will produce more offspring when mating with the dominant males.
• Female cockroaches sometimes mate once and stay pregnant for life.
• Cockroaches usually have three knees per leg for a total of eighteen knees.
• The cockroach has lots of hairs on its legs which give it the sense of touch.
• Cockroaches often die if they land on their backs in human environments. In the wild there is often leaf litter or debris around to which the cockroach can grab on to if it becomes overturned. On a flat floor with nothing around it is much harder for the roach to right itself. Also, pesticides that are sprayed in homes often affect an insect's nervous system and cause muscle spasms. The roach might flip itself over accidentally and be unable to coordinate itself to turn right side up.
• The cockroach's antennae are a little longer than the length of its body. It uses the antennae to navigate, usually trying to stay in close proximity to a wall when it is inside.
• The cockroach antennae have between 150 and 170 segments each.
• The mouthparts of cockroaches chew sideways.
• Cockroaches can sense danger coming from behind them because of a nerve that runs the entire length of their bodies.
• A cockroach can run up to three miles per hour. That is fast for something so small.
• When cockroaches run they have three legs on the ground at any given time.
• The cockroach is the world's fastest turner. The cockroach can change directions up to twenty five times in a single second.
• The cockroach can survive at freezing temperatures.
• The cockroach can survive for forty minutes underwater.
• Cockroaches spend 75% of their time resting.
• The largest cockroach is six inches long and has a wingspan of one foot.
• The movement of cockroaches has been studied to create robots that mimic them. The robots are very effective in crossing rough terrain. These robots might someday be used for surveillance purposes to go into battle zones or dangerous locations.
• Japanese scientists have been able to attach electrodes to the legs of cockroaches so that they can control their movement. The cockroaches might one day be fitted with micro-cameras and be used for surveillance purposes.
Hate them as we might, cockroaches are amazing.