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Why I Respect Cockroaches

Ever seen those little pesky things come out at night from nowhere? Do you wish they were not there? Do you feel like getting rid of all of them or smashing them? Well, think again. These are no ordinary insects. They have evolved over millions of years to become one of the hardiest insects on this earth. Here are some interesting facts about cockroaches:

  • Cockroaches can survive without water for about a month and without food for about three months.
  • Cockroaches are omnivorous, in other words they will eat anything, including each other if there is no other food source available. They prefer food sources such as starches, sweets, grease and meat products, but other items may include cheese, beer, leather, glue, hair, starch in book bindings, flakes of dried skin or decaying organic matter (plant or animal).
  • Cockroaches can live without air for 45 minutes. Therefore even if you try to flush them down your toilet, you have to be sure that they are drowned for more than 45 mins.
  • Cockroaches breathe through their skin and use their head only for drinking and eating. Therefore if you cut off the the head of a cockroach, it would still run around the house for about a week before dying of thirst.
  • Cockroaches can run up to three miles in a hour before calling it a day.
  • The cockroach world does not exist of dating or romantic warm-up rituals. The female mates only once and is pregnant for the rest of her life. Sounds heartbreaking? Think again. Her heart is nothing but a simple tube with valves that pump blood back and forth. The heart can even stop without causing harm to the insect. Moreover the female releases the egg only when it is about to hatch so that the egg is not destroyed by considerable exposure to harsh environmental conditions.
  • A cockroach's attennae, which rival NASA’s Global Positioning System, help it locate family and friends with state-of-the-art precision. Its set of eyes, made up of 4,000 individual lenses, allows it to see simultaneously in all directions. Its rear end is equipped with a motion detector that lets it know which way to scat when its safety is jeopardized. And unlike other creatures, this insect sheds its skeleton, not its skin.
  • It is popularly suggested that cockroaches will "inherit the earth" if humanity destroys itself in a nuclear war. Cockroaches do indeed have a much higher radiation resistance than vertebrates, with the lethal dose perhaps 6 to 15 times that for humans.

So the next time you see a cockroach, I hope you don't look at it as just another insect. But rather respect it the way I do :p.




This was interesting as I am making a piece of art on the theme "on the move" and I thought about incorporating my plastic roaches, and wanted some facts to include as well. Very helpful and interesting !

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