Cockroaches will definetly outlive humans.
I found a large American Cockroach in my bedroom, as they tend to freak me out, I grabbed a large knife from my dresser and sliced it alongside the upper abdomen. Both parts continued to move. It laid still for a moment, but when I went to pick it up, the body made a run for it. It ran about 5 feet and stopped. I picked it up again and put it on my dresser, with the head. The head was moving it’s mouth and little mandible things quickly, it looked very mad. I took pictures of it, and a video so I could prove it was still moving. Then I started to feel bad for it and cut it’s head from it’s abdomen, thinking that would surely do it in. Of course it didn’t, because apparently the brain doesn’t have much to do with it. I packed it into a plastic bag, went on the internet to investigate (make sure it was really a cockroach). I found your site. Now, I read the cockroach page, the unnecessary carnage page, and the bug love page. I felt much worse for killing it. Then I got up to get a soda, walking past the plastic bag I noticed the one of the cockroach’s legs is still moving. It’s been at least 30 minutes now since I first killed it. Is this normal? I think I may have some super cockroach strain. I know the praying mantis males compulate without their heads, but how long can an insect go without a head?

Hi Patrick,
I’m not sure I can answer your question accurately. Death of the Cockroach is imminent. The exact moment of death in any being is definitely a hot topic worth debating, and science and religion are often at odds. Chickens run about without heads but that is usually a matter of seconds or minutes at most. I think the Cockroach accomplished quite a feat by provoking both your sorrow, your pondering and your subsequent webwearch. We believe much of what you observed was reflex reaction. Our question to you is “What is a large knife doing on your bedroom dresser?”

Update (02/06/2006)
Hey Guys!
This is just a comment for the carny page. The decapetated roach that was still moving after 30 mins is quite normal. I read once that a roach is able to live for 7 days without a head and will thus eventually die of hunger. This was proven with a test I did, my headless roach lasted 5 days. I think the 30 min roach didn’t make it for that long cause of the fact that the knife took more that just the head. I’ll see if I can find the articel for you again. Nways, Great Site! Love it!
Hardus Swanepoel

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