What did the escaping cockroach cry ?

cockroach playing houdini What did the escaping cockroach cry ?You spy it – two beady little brown eyes, peering at you from behind a set of long brown “feelers”, which are flicking at you, in anticipation………….

You let out a scream


Reviled with disgust, you gather yourself for the KILL. You launch, it begins to run, it’s six little legs are in hyperdrive. You lash out and miss, it keeps running, it gets to the edge, you’re sure you’ve got it cornered now and …………….

Like Houdini – it’s gone.

But if you stop and listen very carefully, you can hear the cry……..


Moving and shaking cockroaches

A team from University of California have been carefully documenting how a variety of creatures move, hoping to pick up some tips on how to design agile robots, capable of moving with grace and speed.

While studying the moves of natures top escape artist, the cockroach, the team discovered THE MOVE, that has allowed cockroaches to disappear in the blink of an eye.

The move is so fast, the naked eye can’t take it in, but when the footage from a high-speed camera was slowed down, the gravity defying move became clear.

The roach flip

Reaching the end of solid ground should produce a spectacular free fall, but when the ground gives way beneath a cockroach, the back legs manage to deploy a specialized claw.

The claw acts like a grappling hook, catching the insect in midair, allowing it to swing like a pendulum, 180 degrees, so it lands upside down, directly underneath.

Tucked away – out of sight.

It’s like bungee jumping

The roach flip is a quite a feat, the getaway move subjects the cockroach’s body to 3-5 times the force of gravity.

Bungee jumpers experience similar forces when they hurl themselves off bridges.

The lost cockroaches

So next time you lose a cockroach you’re chasing. Don’t look left or right, the little guy is more than likely hiding right under your nose, just look underneath.

Rapid Inversion: Running Animals and Robots Swing like a Pendulum under Ledges. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (6): e38003 Jean-Michel Mongeau, Brian McRae, Ardian Jusufi, Paul Birkmeyer, Aaron M. Hoover, Ronald Fearing, Robert J. Full. 

Interested in learning more about the chemistry behind the stresses and strains of modern living ?

Subcribe to E-spoons, to get e-mail updates once a month to learn how to keep your body chemistry balanced so you’re fast enough to “catch” unwanted guests.  

NOTE : Privacy & spam policy. Spoonful of Science will not rent, trade or sell the e-mail list to anyone. You can unsubscribe at any time by following the unsubscribe link.

Know someone who will find this post useful ? Share it on , ,

Further reading 

bed bug invasion tn What did the escaping cockroach cry ? grasshopper who is afraid of a spider tn What did the escaping cockroach cry ? mosquito following smelly feet tn What did the escaping cockroach cry ?
If one of these moves into your neighbourhood you’re doomed The boogey man has eight legs Your smelly feet are making you a target for hungry mosquitoes

The 7 Big Spoons™…. are master switches that turn health on. 

balance eicosanoids thumbnail What did the escaping cockroach cry ? rein in insulin thumbnail What did the escaping cockroach cry ? thumbnail dial down stress What did the escaping cockroach cry ? thumbnail sleep What did the escaping cockroach cry ? vitamin D thumbnail What did the escaping cockroach cry ? microflora thumbnail1 What did the escaping cockroach cry ? think like a champion thumbnail What did the escaping cockroach cry ?
Balance Eicosanoids Rein in insulin Dial down stress Sleep ! Increase Vit D Culivate microflora Think champion

Hire Dr Sandy from a Spoonful of Science to be the keynote speaker at your next event.

Did you learn something new or do you have a different perspective ? I’d love to hear from you so post me a comment below

This entry was posted in General and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>