Cockroaches (Encyclopedia of Science)
Cockroaches are winged insects found in nearly every part of the world. Although they are one of the most primitive living insects, they are very adaptable and highly successful. Some of the species have invaded human habitats and are considered pests since they can spread disease.
Cockroaches or roaches belong to the order Blattaria, which means "to shun the light." They were given this scientific name because they sleep and rest during daylight hours and come out mainly at night. Their common name, however, is a version of the Spanish word cucaracha, which means "crazy bug." If you have ever seen one running away from you in a typical wild and zigzagging way, you know how they got their name. There are some 4,000 species or kinds of cockroaches living in nearly every habitat except Antarctica. All of them prefer to live where it is warm and moist, or where they can at least get water, so it is not surprising that they will move into people's homes if given the chance. Actually, only about 35 of these species are ever associated with people, and the other nearly 4,000 species live throughout the world, although the largest numbers are found in the tropics.
Cockroaches can be interesting, and some would even say fascinating. They can range in length from only 0.1 to 3.2 inches (2.5 to 8.1 centimeters). They seldom use their...
(The entire section is 1218 words.)
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