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La La Cucaracha

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We got big cockroaches here in Texas.  I mean big ones, so big you can hear them walking along the floor in the middle of the night. In the heat of the summer I’ve seen them crawling out of the sewer. (Note that really nasty egg case in the picture.. I HATE those!)

Credit USDA
Credit USDA

The story I always heard was that they ate dead skin and toenail clippings.

Turns out they are after something a lot different.

They eat pee.

Yeah. That. And there’s way more to the story.

(Start thinking about  Spiderman III Here, where that nasty black thing gets on his hand and turns him into… well lets just not go into what it turns him into, what you’ve got to remember, is that the black thing is a SYMBIONT! It needs Spidey and Spikey need it).

Well in order to get what it needs out of the pee, cockroaches have to team up with a certain kind of bacteria, that knows just what to do with it. And because EVERYTHING on the planet needs nitrogen and cockroaches sort of don’t have a lot of options for getting it in places other than sewers and the floor around your toilet, they and their bacteria symbiotic partners, make use of the nitrogen in …well.. you know.. yep, good ole pee. When you think about it, its pretty clever, cause if your a cockroach, you’re pretty much good to go anywhere there’s a puddle of the stuff.

Just goes to show, one man’s pee is another cockroaches.. yeah that.

This little moment of science brought to you through the efforts of scientists Nancy Moran and Zakee Sabree of the University of Arizona, and Srinivas Kambhampati of Kansas State University.

Just so you know, cockroaches look way grosser than they actually are… almost none of them are known to cause any human disease.

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