Five groups that classify all living things
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
A group of animals within a pylum
A group of animals within a class
Most widely used name for this species
The name of the animal in science
The place where something is found
What kind of foods the animal eats
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
|Number Of Species:|
The total number of recorded species
The average time the animal lives for
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
|Brown, Black, Tan|
The protective layer of the animal
The preferred food of this animal
|Decaying Organic Matter|
The specific area where the animal lives
|Anywhere and everywhere|
|Average Litter Size:|
The average number of babies born at once
The food that the animal gains energy from
|Decaying Organic Matter|
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
|Spiders, Birds, Mammals|
Characteristics unique to this animal
|Long antennae and brain located in body not head|
The cockroach, also known as the roach, is found worldwide in every environment and every habitat with the exception of water. The cockroach is one of the most commonly known pests to humans of the insect world but plays a vital role in the ecosystem ingesting decomposing materials.
There are thought to be around 4,000 known species of cockroach in existence but only about 30 of the different species of cockroach are the ones that humans come into contact with. Cockroaches are generally not keen on close contact with humans and are only really present if there is enough for them to eat.
The cockroach is dated around 300 million years old, with fossil evidence suggesting that the modern cockroach is much smaller than the original roach. Today the cockroach is on average, about an inch long.
The cockroach is an omnivorous animal and feeds on decaying matter and therefore is often associated with things being dirty (you would not be happy to find them in a restaurant for example). Most cockroach species are nocturnal with the exception of the oriental cockroach, which is attracted to light. Cockroaches generally only eat organic matter but some have been known to even eat substances such as mouldy wallpaper paste.
Due to its small size and abundance, the cockroach is prey to numerous predators around the world including birds, spiders, small mammals and reptiles. The cockroach is even eaten by humans in some cultures and regions of the world.
Cockroaches are thought to be able to have up to four litters of young every year. The female cockroach lays between 10 and 90 eggs per time, which hatch in a matter of days. It takes just a month for the baby cockroach to become an adult cockroach. Female cockroaches are distinguishable from male cockroaches as the female cockroaches have a more rounded abdomen.
Unlike most other animals, the brain of the cockroach is in its body instead of its head. This means that a headless cockroach can live for nearly two weeks and will eventually die from malnutrition and not nerve damage.
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First Published: 14th November 2008, Last Updated: 8th November 2019
1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 14 Nov 2008]
2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 14 Nov 2008]
4. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2009]
5. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 14 Nov 2008]