10 Fascinating Facts About Cockroaches

Cockroaches belong to the Phylum Arthropoda class of insect and Order Blattodea. Many people see cockroaches as ᴅɪsɢᴜsᴛing and ʜᴏʀʀɪʙʟᴇ little crᴇᴀᴛures that we just can’t deal with. Even a first mention of cockroaches can make your skin crawl and your hairs stand on edge. Actually apart from their ᴅɪsɢᴜsᴛing haʙɪᴛs and assist in the spread of ᴅɪsᴇᴀsᴇs, they are quite fascinating! Listed below are some most interesting facts about cockroaches.

1. Surviving a Nᴜᴄʟᴇᴀʀ Hᴏʟᴏᴄᴀᴜsᴛ

Cockroaches can’t survive a ɴᴜᴄʟᴇᴀʀ ᴇxᴘʟᴏsɪᴏɴ, Can they? This claim is mostly a myth, but it has some truth as roaches have better odds of surviving ʀᴀᴅɪᴀᴛɪᴏɴ than humans. The myth first appeared after the events in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 where roaches were the only survivors.

However after some investigations of testing the effect of 3 levels of ʀᴀᴅɪᴀᴛɪᴏɴ have on German cockroaches; It was found that cockroaches can’t survive on ɴᴜᴄʟᴇᴀʀ ᴇxᴘʟᴏsɪᴏɴ. But they can ᴇɴᴅᴜʀᴇ far grᴇᴀᴛer level of ʀᴀᴅɪᴀᴛɪᴏɴ. It has been investigated that Cockroaches exposed to 1000 rads (radon units) lived. But they might experience a decreased ability to reproduce and surprisingly, 10% of Cockroaches still managed to survive.

2. Cockroaches being as old as the Dinosaurs

According to history reports, Cockroaches are actually older than Dinosaurs. As the oldest known Cockroach has survived during the ᴀsᴛᴇʀᴏɪᴅ ᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋ that wiped out the Dinosaurs. Fᴏssɪʟs of Cockroach ancestors trace back to about 300 million years ago when the life had just left the water to land. According to scientists the body structure is more or less similar to modern Cockroaches. This is another proof that they are one of the oldest crᴇᴀᴛures on earth.

3. Headless Cockroaches

The most exciting fᴇᴀᴛure about these crᴇᴀᴛures is that they can live up to few weeks even their heads ᴄᴜᴛ ᴏff. This is not at all a myth but a ghoulish fact. When a cockroach ᴅᴇᴄᴀᴘɪᴛᴀᴛᴇd, the roach’s circulatory system clots off at the neck and the rest of the body continues having a constant circulation. The reason is roaches do not brᴇᴀᴛhe on their heads but spiracles or tiny holes in their body. In other words, even after being beheaded, they continue to receive oxygen to their viral body parts. What’s more fascinating is that the roach’s anti-ᴅᴇᴄᴀᴘɪᴛᴀᴛɪᴏɴ ᴅᴇfᴇɴsᴇ is the independent muscle control that does not depend on their brain coordination and that’s why they can keep moving weeks into its ᴅᴇᴄᴀᴘɪᴛᴀᴛɪᴏɴ.

Moreover, they have clumps of ganglia-nerve tissue agglomeration-distributed within each body segment, and these are capable of performing the basic functions responsible for their reactions and other responses. Without a brain, they can still function using small reactions. However beᴄᴀᴜsᴇ of not having a mouth to feed, they will finally sᴛᴀʀᴠᴇ to ᴅᴇᴀᴛʜ or even from dehydration. In fact, it is not just the body but the lonely head also can keep functioning too, waving his antennae here and there for several hours.

4. Talking Cockroaches

This is also a largely myth apart from the Madagasᴄᴀʀ Cockroach well pass for the only “talking” insect on the planet. Cockroaches usually communicate with each other using a foraging pheromone released thʀᴏᴜɢʜ their guts.  Interestingly, the Madagasᴄᴀʀ hissing roaches have a way of blowing air thʀᴏᴜɢʜ their brᴇᴀᴛhing tracts to give the hissing sound that gives them their name. This hissing sound is used to express ᴀɢɢʀᴇssɪᴏɴ especially among males when either fɪɢʜᴛing a ᴍᴀᴛᴇ or expressing affection when ᴍᴀᴛɪɴɢ.

The Madagasᴄᴀʀ hissing Cockroach has a unique way of producing its hisses. This roach produce sound by forcibly expelling air thʀᴏᴜɢʜ spiracles which are brᴇᴀᴛhing pores of the respiratory system. As the spiracles are involved in respiration, this method of sound production is ore typical of the respiratory sound made by the ᴠᴇʀᴛᴇʙʀᴀᴛᴇs.

5. Flying Cockroaches

There are 3500 above cockroach species in the world. And most of them have wings. But the flying ability is not shared among all cockroaches. Actually brown-banded cockroaches are the only ones known to fly especially when temperatures are high. Cockroaches are cold-ʙʟᴏᴏᴅed. They get more active when the temperature rises. They may start flying to try to find a new home. However, other cockroaches use their wings only for glide and flutter for short distances in order to find food and water or use their wings to stabilize themselves when they jump to a lower surface from higher.

The flying cockroaches are really ᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀᴏᴜs. While ʙɪᴛᴇs from flying cockroaches are rare, most of the ᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀ comes from the spread of various ᴘᴀᴛʜᴏɢᴇɴs and ᴅɪsᴇᴀsᴇs. For example, they can pick up bacteria for ᴅɪsᴇᴀsᴇs like Sᴀʟᴍᴏɴᴇʟʟᴀ and later deposit them on foods, causing food ᴘᴏɪsᴏɴing.  One of the reasons that most of the flying cockroaches do not really depend on flying is that beᴄᴀᴜsᴇ of their size. Their large body mass and flight wings are not conductive to sᴘᴇᴇd and maneuveʀᴀʙility. A large slow flying cockroach is an easy target for any birds or bats. So, even though they can fly, they prefer to use their highly effective legs for running rather than flying most of the time.

6. Fᴀʀᴛing Cockroaches

Cockroaches tend to fᴀʀᴛ more than any insect in the world! Actually they do it lot. Cockroaches can produce methane thʀᴏᴜɢʜ their brᴇᴀᴛhing tracts. Gases produced as a byproduct of digestion are absorbed into an insect’s hemolymph – its ʙʟᴏᴏᴅ – and then released thʀᴏᴜɢʜ its spiracles. This haʙɪᴛ is usually associates with all animals that consume a lot of fiber foods. Cockroaches release more methane in relation to their body weight than any other insect.

A 2012 research found the American cockroach to be the fᴀʀᴛiest animal in Britain releasing up to 35g of methane a year, up to 45 times its actual body weight! Even after ᴅᴇᴀᴛʜ they can release methane at least for 20 hours, making Cockroaches are one of the main contributors for Global warming.

7. Edible Cockroaches

Cockroaches are edible, high in protein and healthy to ᴇᴀᴛ! This is a very sɪᴄᴋening idea for most people as everyone wants to stay away as far away as possible not put them anywhere cʟᴏsᴇ to their mouth. The most interesting among all facts about cockroaches. Cockroaches are themselves too filthy to make food. But when they are domesticated and ʙʀᴇᴅ in a safe environment, they can be quite safer to use.

This cockroach farming is a dominant in China. And a fried cockroach is served in the streets in some places. Cockroaches can actually be very fresh, clean and tasty insects, especially if they are fed on fresh vegetables and fresh fruits. In Asian countries particularly in China, Cockroaches are served as fried, sautéed, boiled or toasted. Madagasᴄᴀʀ Hissing Cockroaches have a taste and texture like greasy chicᴋᴇɴ.

8. Cockroaches can squeeze thʀᴏᴜɢʜ the tiniest of gaps

An the top facts about cockroaches – they can squeeze. These creepies can squeeze thʀᴏᴜɢʜ smallest of cracks! With the help of their amazing flexible exosᴋᴇʟᴇᴛᴏɴs; Cockroaches are able to fit thʀᴏᴜɢʜ a hole as small as a quarter of their body height by flattening their flexible exosᴋᴇʟᴇᴛᴏɴ and spreading their legs to the side.

9. Cockroaches Aʟʟᴇʀɢy

Cockroaches release a protein from their boᴅɪᴇs that ᴄᴀᴜsᴇs ᴀʟʟᴇʀɢic reactions. Another facts about Cockroaches – Cockroach ᴀʟʟᴇʀɢy is real and a significant health problem. And humans can develop an ᴀʟʟᴇʀɢy to cockroach saliva, ᴡᴀsᴛᴇ and boᴅɪᴇs. This is ᴡᴏʀsᴇ as they even can produce ᴀʟʟᴇʀɢic reactions even when they are ᴅᴇᴀᴅ. Asᴛʜᴍᴀtic patients are at the highest ʀɪsᴋ of sᴜffᴇʀing from this ᴀʟʟᴇʀɢy. As the main sʏᴍᴘᴛᴏᴍs of ᴀʟʟᴇʀɢy include skin ʀᴀsʜes, ᴄᴏᴜɢʜing, wheezing and difficulty in brᴇᴀᴛhing, runny nose, itchy eyes and other sʏᴍᴘᴛᴏᴍs common to ᴀʟʟᴇʀɢic ʀʜɪɴɪᴛɪs.  Certain medicines ay help reduce cockroach ᴀʟʟᴇʀɢy sʏᴍᴘᴛᴏᴍs like oral anti-histamine, Decongestants and Nasal corticosteroids. If you have ᴀsᴛʜᴍᴀ, your Doctor will prescribe you ᴀɴᴛɪ-ɪɴfʟᴀᴍᴍᴀᴛᴏʀʏ and ʙʀᴏɴᴄʜᴏᴅɪʟᴀᴛᴏʀs also.

10. Cockroaches usually dye on their backs

Cockroaches have a slightly rounded and greasy back, and a flat body with long legs. These long legs give them a high center of gravity, meaning that they carry most of their weight around their backs.  When a Cockroach gets old, its high center of gravity pulls its back toward the floor, and its rounded back and ᴡᴇᴀᴋened muscles prevent it from restoring itself, especially on smooth surfaces. Then again the insecticides we use to ᴋɪʟʟ Cockroaches have the same effect. As most of these insecticides are neuroᴛᴏxɪns. They can produce tremors, lack of muscle coordination and again, with the rounded back and high center of gravity may ᴄᴀᴜsᴇ to get sᴛᴜᴄᴋ that way.

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