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Which animal can live without its head for nine days?

Find out which animal can live without its head for nine days.

Cockroaches, a common household rodent, are difficult to kill because of their ability to live after decapitation. [©Shutterstock, 2010]
©Shutterstock, 2010
Cockroaches, a common household rodent, are difficult to kill because of their ability to live after decapitation.

Ah, the cockroach. Sinister stalker of the stovetop, tiny terror of the kitchen table. And worst of all, hard to kill.

In fact, the cockroach may be even hardier than you realize -- a decapitated cockroach can survive in its headless state for weeks.

Why? Well, unlike a human being, a roach with its head cut off won't bleed to death. That's because the roach's blood -- or more accurately, its hemolymph -- is at a much lower pressure than the blood in our circulatory systems.

And the cockroach actually breathes through every segment of its body except the head, so decapitation won't even deprive it of oxygen.

Roaches also require much less food than humans or other warm-blooded animals do. A roach can live for weeks on a single meal, so a decapitated roach probably won't be in any immediate danger of starvation.

I guess what I'm saying is, put those plans for a cockroach guillotine on hold. Because as satisfying as it would be to go French-Revolution on them, a little shoe leather is still the best way to take them out.

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