Can a cockroach really live without its head?

CockroachCockroaches are widely known for their tenacity, so it’s not surprising they are often cited as the most likely survivors in the event of a nuclear war.

But do you know that they can live for weeks without their heads?

Cockroaches (and many other insects by the way)—unlike humans—can survive decapitation. Cockroaches do not have a huge network of blood vessels between the head and the rest of their bodies unlike humans. When a cockroach’s head is cut off, its neck would seal off the wound just by clotting.

Unlike humans too, the hardy cockroach breathe through spiracles, or those little holes in each body segment.

Even without the brain from its severed head, the body of a cockroach could still stand, move, or react to touch.

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