Can a cockroach survive without its head?

There are a lot of myths that surround the cockroach, more than almost any other insect. In general, cockroaches are portrayed as some kind of superbug, one that can last for years without food, one that can handle being frozen, one that will survive a nuclear apocalypse and one that can even live on after having its head taken off.

Most creatures cannot survive decapitation, a head is one of those body parts that is essential. A claim that an animal could survive without its head would usually be laughed at but when it comes to cockroaches, people are willing to believe it because they have such a hardy reputation, they are seen as the ultimate survivalists. So, is it actually true, can cockroaches really live without their heads?

It turns out that this crazy sounding story is actually true. Cockroaches are able to live for a number of weeks without a head. The main reason why humans cannot survive without a head and roaches can is because of our different breathing  and circulation systems. We have lungs that require instruction from the brain to work and veins which require pressure to move blood whilst roaches have an open breathing and circulatory system that works without a head or brain. Also, because they are cold blooded, they can last a long time without food.

However, while they can last for a few weeks, they will eventually die.

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