A cockroach’s exoskeleton is made of a leathery, flexible material with joints that enable it to run fast and jump. It can survive being squashed up to 900 times its own weight. Cockroaches live mostly outdoors and build their colonies in tree hollows. However, they can also be found in buildings.
Cockroaches have evolved into a remarkably diverse group over hundreds of millions of years. They are members of the Blattodea order and are closely related to termites, though they do not share the same ancestry. Cockroach fossils date back over 320 million years, to the Triassic Period.
Cockroaches are highly resistant to radiation. In fact, they can survive radiation levels that would kill humans. Interestingly, they are able to survive radiation levels of 10,000 rads, which is equivalent to the amount of nuclear bombs dropped on Japan during World War II.
Cockroaches weigh approximately three ounces. However, some species of cockroaches are larger and can even reach 7 inches long. The largest cockroach in the world is the Australian giant burrowing cockroach, which is nine centimeters long and weighs more than 30 grams. Cockroaches are most active during the night, but are also seen during the day.
A healthy first parturition female Gromphadorhina portentosa can produce up to forty to sixty live offspring at a time. This means that a healthy cockroach can have a virgin birth. This is unlikely to happen if the mother was exposed to pollution runoff at a golf course.