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Cockroach Anatomy

Each cockroach has eyes, a mouth, salivary glands, antennae, brain, heart, colon, reproductive system, mid-guts, legs, esophagus, gastric caecea, fat bodies and malpighian tubules. Cockroach eyes contain more than a thousand lenses, allowing them to see multiple things at once.

Cockroach legs are exceptionally sensitive when touched. Their antennae, also known as feelers, are responsible for their sense of smell. Cockroaches have two small appendages on their abdomens, known as the cerci, which act as sensors. Cerci give them an advantage over predators, as they seem to be sensitive to slight air movements around them.

A cockroach’s mouth can move from side to side and is capable of processing smell and taste simultaneously. Cockroaches are also equipped with salivary glands and an esophagus, which assist in digestion. At the base of the esophagus, food is temporarily located in the crop. After entering the stomach of the cockroach, food is broken down by enzymes present within the gastric caecea and in the middle of the intestines is the mid-gut, which is responsible for nutrient absorption. Spiracles are visible on the sides of the cockroach’s body; these are used for breathing.

Inside their bodies, cockroaches contain a white substance known as fat bodies. Similar to fat stores in humans, fat bodies allow cockroaches to store energy after nutrients have been broken down.

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