General Question

luigirovatti's avatar

Did you know the cockroach, by evolutionary standards, are nearly flawless creatures?

Asked by luigirovatti (2218points) April 19th, 2020

Believed to have originated in the Silurian period over 350 million years ago, they can be found on every part of the world, from the tropics to the Arctic. There exists 4000 known species, and in a year a single female can produce over half a million descendants. Radiation doesn’t kill them. Their only flaw is possessing a simple nervous system, their behaviour dictated solely by responses to environmental stimuli. Unlike us, they’re incapable of thoughts of self-illumination.

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12 Answers

Patty_Melt's avatar

And yet, quite low on the food chain.

SmashTheState's avatar

The first amoeba which ever existed is alive today. It is constructively immortal. So is Henrietta Lacks, who is notorious for escaping confinement and contaminating entire labs; she will outlive our whole species.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Yes, the cockroach has been known as a survivor forever. Didn’t you see the first Men in Black movie?

stanleybmanly's avatar

I did know that. And that word flawless is open to debate considering that such creatures as ants and bees evolved from those cockroaches of the Silurian, indicating (to my mind) that the perfection trophy will always be up for dispute. But I suppose we all need a model toward which to strive. If yours is the cockroach, it’s fine with me.

ragingloli's avatar

Did you know that China is breeding them by the trillions, because they use them to eat their trash?
Can not wait for that thing to turn into a giant fiasco.

LuckyGuy's avatar

By those standards Tardigrades are at the top of the heap..
“Tardigrades are among the most resilient animals known,[9][10] with individual species able to survive extreme conditions—such as exposure to extreme temperatures, extreme pressures (both high and low), air deprivation, radiation, dehydration, and starvation—that would quickly kill most other known forms of life. Tardigrades have survived exposure to outer space.[11][12] About 1,300 known species[13] form the phylum Tardigrada, a part of the superphylum Ecdysozoa. The earliest known true members of the group are known from Cretaceous amber in North America, but are essentially modern forms, and therefore likely have a significantly earlier origin, as they diverged from their closest relatives in the Cambrian, over 500 million years ago. ”

cookieman's avatar

Maybe so, but they still ugly.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Nah, cockroaches really aren’t that impressive (or old) compared to some other forms of life on Earth.

Patty_Melt's avatar

To find genetic perfection, we can look right in our own pool.
“Immortal jelly”:

Zaku's avatar

And unlike humans, they don’t go around claiming that they know that other species are “incapable of thoughts of self-illumination”. Nor are they liable to be responsible for many extinctions, habitat destruction, or worldwide climate change.

LostInParadise's avatar

Cockroaches need warm temperatures. If man became extinct, it would be a major setback for them.

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