It’s true – a cockroach can live for about a week without its head. This is due to the fact that cockroach bodies are wired up differently to many animals, including humans. Their blood pressure is not as high as ours meaning that they do not quickly bleed out as a result of decapitation and the blood around the neck can clot to cover the wound. They also breathe differently. Cockroaches breathe through little holes in each body segment known as spiracles, meaning they can breathe easily without their mouth. They also don’t rely on their brain to control breathing so breathing will continue even without the head. In the end, the thing which kills decapitated cockroaches is dehydration and/or starvation as they cannot eat or drink.
Cockroaches are some of the most primitive insects and have lived on earth for 350 million years!
The world’s largest cockroach is found in South American rainforests.