They'd Miss Us if We All Died


La Cucarachas

If you step on people in this life, you're going to come back as a cockroach.

- Willie Davis

Click to Play


Cockroach Facts and Figures


Cockroaches are real survivors.  They have been around for 300 million years and live all over the world, either with humans or in a natural environment.  Over 5,000 species have been identified.  Cockroaches are very adaptive...

bulletFossils show that cockroaches have been around for at least 340 million years.  Nuts, seeds, nectar, and pollen would not appear for another 200 million years, dinosaurs were still 150 million years away, and humans did not appear for 300 million years.
bulletAs humans founded new villages across the world, they carried cockroaches with them.
bulletToday, cockroaches live all over the world - including the North and South Poles.
bulletSome have been found thriving in coal mines 670 metres deep.
bulletOne cockroach is thought to have travelled to space after it was found in the Apollo XII command shuttle.
bulletIn the event of a nuclear holocaust, it is believed that cockroaches will be the only creatures to survive.
bulletCockroaches have a lifespan of anything from 90 days to 6 years, depending on the species and environmental conditions.
bulletCockroaches can live without food for 2 weeks, but will only survive a week without water.
bulletCockroaches eat almost anything, including each other if necessary.  An A4 piece of paper will feed one cockroach for a week.
bulletThere are currently around 5,000 identified cockroach species.
bulletLess than 1% of species are characterised as pests.
bulletCockroaches hate light - they hide in dark crevices during the day.

Cockroach Anatomy

bulletCockroaches belong to the insect family.
bulletCockroaches are cold-blooded invertebrates - they have no backbones or other internal supports.
bulletA skeleton shell, worn on the outside, covers everything including the eyes.
bulletCockroaches can see in the dark.
bulletCockroaches have more muscles than humans.
bulletCockroaches can pull more than 20 times their own weight.
bulletCockroaches breathe through small holes in their abdomen.
bulletEars are located in each knee joint.
bulletCockroaches have at least 18 knees.
bulletCockroaches have 2 autonomous brains - one in their head and one in their tail as a result they react to danger faster than the blink of an eye.  They don't need both brains to survive - therefore cockroaches can remain active after their heads are removed.
bulletThe largest measured cockroach was 15 centimetres long.
bulletCockroaches bleed white blood.

Cockroaches and Sex

bulletCourtship is typically initiated by the sexually mature female who emits a pheromone (odour).
bulletMales use hooks to clamp onto the female when mating - once connected, an unbreakable bond is formed between the two animals, until the female conceives.
bulletSome female cockroaches mate once and are pregnant for the rest of their lives.  They die after giving birth.
bulletIn some cockroach species, females can reproduce on their own, without any input from males.
bulletAdult females can produce up to 3,200 young in less than 5 months.  Fortunately, the survival rate is not 100%.

Cockroaches and Digestion

bulletCockroaches break wind every 15 minutes and continue to release methane for 18 hours after death.  Insect flatulence accounts for 20% of all methane emissions on earth, placing cockroaches among the biggest contributors to global warming.
bulletCockroaches have teeth in their stomachs to help with digestion.

Other Interesting Information

bulletMale cockroaches are extremely aggressive, often biting and kicking others, but aggressive female-female encounters are rare.
bulletCockroaches have extreme sensitivity to vibration and have been used as earthquake predictors.
bulletCockroaches contribute to allergies and asthma in humans.
bulletCockroaches can swim.
bulletCockroaches can run up to 7 kilometres an hour.
bulletCrushed cockroaches can be applied to a stinging human wound to help relieve the pain.
bulletCockroaches are a source of food - a succulent dish involves simmering cockroaches in vinegar, boiling them together with butter, farina, pepper and salt to make a paste, which is spread on buttered bread.
bulletEmergency medical technicians in Sydney were once called to a hostel to remove a 3.75cm cockroach trapped in the ear of a Swedish tourist.

Source: 21 July 1999 from a press release by the Y2K Readiness Commission

For more articles, tests and visual amusements click the "Up" button below to take you to the Table of Contents for this Intellectual and Entertaining section.

Back Home Up Next