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The cockroach that I saw is called the German cockroach or Blatella germanica. Humans consider it to be a pest because it invades where we live, eat and sleep. There are between 4,000 to 7,500 different species of roaches. Of this amount, only one percent are considered to be a pest. Some of the other more common species are:
1) Oriental Cockroach-Blatta orientalis
2) American Cockroach-Periplaneta americana
3) Brownbanded Cockroach-Supella longipalpa
They have pathogens or bacteria on their bodies, but none have been known to be transmitted to humans. Their mouths are used for chewing, not biting. Most roaches are nocturnal, that is, they prefer the night and are sensitive to all forms of light except for the red spectrum. They are most active right after dusk and right before dawn. They seem to appear according to a biological clock. This activity may be a response to a genetic defense because light may indicate the presence of humans, their most dangerous predator. They prefer to live in warm, moist places and are more abundant in tropical areas. However, they can live in almost any environment and they have been found in the North and South Poles.
Cockroaches are thought to be about 350 million years old, making them one of the oldest surviving creatures. They have been able to survive because of their rapid reproductive cycles and adaptability to poisons, environments, and even nuclear bombs. One of the largest is the Madagascar hissing cockroach, which has become a popular pet. Another large roach is Megaloblatta blaberoides, a resident of Central and South America. It has been measured at about 100mm long. Some roaches can fly and one has been measured to have a wing span of about one foot.
Their ability to withstand radiation is very interesting. They have a very hard outer shell or exoskeleton, which is less prone to absorb radiation. Their skin molts, which means shedding, and this removes the radiation. In addition, they have an unusual different chromosome structure, which is difficult for radiation to shatter. The butterfly is similar to the cockroach in this respect.
Although they live in proximity to each other in crevices or harbingers. This need to keep in touch with their surroundings is called thigmotaxis. Their immunity extends to poisons, and they are known to survive decapitation. I later read that this is possible because they have two nerve centers-one in the head, the other in the tail. The only way it would eventually die would be from dehydration. They can do without food for over one month, but they need water at least once a week. They will feed on all foods, grease, paint, wallpaper paste, and even bookbinding.
The female will have up to forty babies at one time. Some species will mate only once and they will remain pregnant for the rest of their lives. Adults will live for an average of eight to fifteen months. Cockroaches reproduce on an average of four times per year. Females have a broader abdomen and are more rounded than the male. This constant reproduction adds to their ability to become immune to environment changes or pesticides. The basic structure of the cockroach has, however, remained the same since the middle of the Silurian period almost 365 million years ago. The life cycle of the cockroach is from egg-nymph-adult. This cycle is called simple metamorphosis. It means that the younger nymphs look very similar to the adult and will only differ in size. :
Many cockroaches care for their eggs until they hatch, including the German cockroach which carries the eggs externally until they hatch. A whole Family of cockroaches, the Blaberidae with subfamilies Blaberinae, Zetoborinae, Epilamprinae Diplopterinae and Pycnoscelinae among others, carry the eggs internally until they hatch. One Blaberid species, Diploptera sp., provides nutrition to the embryos which actually molt in utero several times such that they need only molt three times after they are born to become adults, URL: D_punctata-devel-2864.JPG
2) There is a so-called group-effect among the young of German cockroaches. If they are alone they develop very slowly. If there are at least two larvae in a defined space they accelerate their development to become adults. This later behavior is a mechanism that increases the probability that two adults will be present by the time adulthood is reached. Unfortunately, this effect is sex-neutral so the two adults could be both males or both females with a probability of 50%.
The wood-feeding cockroach Cryptocercus is usually believed to live in aggregations. Field observations, however, gave evidence for the existence of distinct family groups living in different gallery systems. This study investigates intraspecific behavioural interactions with respect to the social structure. The interaction among family members were observed in artificial burrows in the laboratory. Individuals from different families were brought together experimentally and the resulting alarm and fighting behavior was studied. The importance of Cryptocercus for the evolution of termite sociality is discussed.
Basically what they did was collect samples of Cryptocercus from the wild and set them up in "ant farm" type displays to study their behavior. These are roaches that live in logs on or near mountain terrain. Of the seven known species in the world, five occur in the U.S.
Each colony consists of one adult pair and their brood. It appears that the adults spend their entire lives (about two years) raising just that one brood. If one of the parents dies, the other takes over all the duties, including protecting the territory. The scientists behind this study did a lot of experiments with introducing unrelated roaches, pulling out nymphs then reintroducing them, and other variations to test the reactions. In general, the nymphs would notice the intruder first, then hurriedly rush until it found one of the parents. As part of the alarm signal, the nymph would do a rocking motion. Often that first nymph would trigger the other nymphs to join in on the rocking motion. It was then up to the adult(s) to handle the intruder, but first it had to find the intruder. Sometimes the adults would wander in the the wrong chamber, then have to back up and keep looking.
Although cockroaches are closely related to termites, they are not as social as termites are. Termite colonies have an organized social structure in which different members have different roles. Cockroaches do not have these types of roles, but they do tend to prefer living in groups. A study at the Free University of Brussels in Belgium revealed that groups of cockroaches make collective decisions about where to live. When one space was large enough for all of the cockroaches in the study, the cockroaches all stayed there. But when the large space was not available, the roaches divided themselves into equal groups to fit in the smallest number of other enclosures.
Of Men and Monsters is a science fiction novel by William Tenn (a pseudonym for the sci-fi work of Philip Klass). It was published in 1968.
Giant, technologically superior aliens have conquered Earth, but humankind survives - even flourishes in a way. Men and women live like mice in burrows in the massive walls of the huge homes of the aliens, scurrying about under their feet, stealing from them. A complex social and religious order has evolved, with women preserving knowledge and working as healers, and men serving as warriors and thieves. For the aliens, men and women are just a nuisance, neither civilized nor intelligent, and certainly not a worthy adversary. In fact, they are regarded as vermin, to be exterminated. Which, ironically, may just be humankind's strength and point the way forward..
The overall findings of the study provide evidence that bees are capable of counting objects that they encounter while flying to a food source. This form of counting is probably done sequentially and requires the bees to have the ability to maintain a running tally of the number of events, increasing the tally by one each time another event occurs.
"The situation points clearly to one of two possibilities. Either we are dealing with an overt plan invented by an intelligence considerably higher than our own, an intelligence which has foreseen all our chemicals and flamethrowers, or the insects have already experienced selection Pressure against intelligences of at least our level in many other environments elsewhere in the universe."
"There is a curious variant of the first possibility. Could the insects themselves be the intelligence much higher than our own? We are so conditioned to thinking that the intelligence of a species can be exemplified by an individual member that it is hard to assess a situation in which each individual might show little intelligence, but in which the combined aggregate of individuals might show much. Yet it is so in our own brains, where no individual neuron can be said to display intelligence but in which the aggregate of neurons constitutes exactly what we understand by intelligence."
"The static nature of insect societies goes against this thinking. If an enormous intelligence inhabits the beehives of the world, we might expect more evidence of its presence. But this may again be to endow an opponent with our own restless characteristics. Perhaps concealment is an essential tactic. Perhaps the intelligence is static because it understands the dictum of sagacious lawyers: 'When your case is going well, say nothing'."
"The insect case is indeed going well. Along with the chemicals and the flamethrowers, there are nuclear bombs also. Insects are highly resistant to X-rays and other forms of ionizing radiation. Insects can frequent dumps of radioactive waste without harm. Nor are the plants on which insects feed harmed at all by radioactivity. This sets the scene for the future. From nuclear war only one creature will profit hugely, the insect. Insects may be close to inheriting the Earth without a struggle. It may well seem that man arrived in a brief moment, and then disappeared even more swiftly than he came."
Scientists claim to have found evidence of ‘free will’ in flies.
If the researchers
are right, it means the annoying bluebottle or wasp that will not leave you alone is choosing to be a pest.
Buzzing with intelligence?
The discovery could overturn basic assumptions about the difference between humans and animals.
Understanding the mechanisms involved may also lead to development of free-thinking robots, bringing science fiction to life.
Simple creatures such as insects are generally regarded as biological machines which only respond to external stimuli.
Apparently variable behaviour in such animals is usually attributed to random activity in their brains.
But an international study of fruit flies has shown that cannot be the case - the flies tested appeared to make choices.
Humans have always battled bugs, but James McWilliams says chemical insecticides came into the picture by accident. McWilliams is a fellow in the Agrarian Studies Program at Yale University and an associate professor of history at Texas State University. His new book is "American Pests: The Losing War on Insects from Colonial Times to DDT" and he was one of the featured speakers at the 2008 Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colorado. On this week's episode of Word for Word, James McWilliams turns the spotlight on our ongoing battle with bugs.
Originally posted by mopusvindictus
Ohhhh The Reptilians from Draconian... which happens to be named after a Reptile type creature in the English language which he happens to speak...
I come up with more plausible explanations and theories for what's going on sitting in my pajamas building a new computer over the last 72 hrs than he does in his entire body of work...
Why not just write sci fi and call it what it is???
Cripes, look how much more money JK made with movie rights... Imagine if she wrote books claiming hogwarts was real?