The cockroach may look like a simple, ugly little insect to you but in
reality they are quite complex. If you ever have the opportunity to really look
at a roach you will see that they have several different body parts, much like a
human has different body parts.
The most notable part of the cockroach anatomy is the skeleton. Unlike
humans, the cockroach skeleton is on the outside if its body. The cockroach can
actually outgrow his skeleton, at which time he molts, or sheds the outgrown
skeleton, often referred to as a shell.
While the skeleton is not all that impressive to some, most would be
impressed by the compound eyes on the cockroach. These compound eyes allow the
cockroach to see all around its body, to protect it from just about anything!
This compound vision is made possible by more than 2,000 individual lenses. When
you consider that the human eye has just one lens, the cockroach eye becomes
quite remarkable. While the cockroach can see very well, it's worth noting that
a cockroach cannot see in red light!
The cockroach has six legs, all of which are primed for an extra sensory
organ. There are little hairs on the legs of each cockroach that allow him or
her to have a very extra sensitive touch. The legs work in conjunction with the
antennae, actually. The antennae give the roach an extra sense of smell so that
they cannot only find great places to live and feed, but also find other
cockroaches. Male cockroaches actually have specially adapted antennae that
allow them to sniff out a female.
If you've ever seen the two little hairs on the rear portion of a cockroach,
you've actually been checking out his or her cerci. The cerci are sort of like a
warning system or motion detector for the cockroach, so that nothing can sneak
up on the roach. Even a slight breeze or someone or something moving ever so
slightly will warn the cockroach to run away and hide.
The mouth of a roach is quite remarkable, as well. The mouth of a cockroach
cannot only taste, it can smell as well! The cockroach mouth is different than a
human mouth as well because the roach chews in a side-to-side motion instead of
an up and down. The salivary glands work along with the mouth, creating spit to
aid in the breaking down of food.
As you can see, the cockroach anatomy is much more exciting than you may have
first thought. Remember when you go to smash one, don't just hit the head
portion of body, because it's a cockroach fact that they can live for a good
deal of time with out their heads!
For more information about the different types of roaches have a look at the