Deluxe Reflexes

Why cockroaches move around obstacles with astonishing speed

08-01-1999 // NWF Staff

If you´ve ever watched cockroaches scurry, you know that the creatures move around obstacles with astonishing speed. Just how fast was recently established by Hebrew University of Jerusalem biologist Jeff Camhi, who used a maze and a video camera to discover that cockroaches can zigzag 25 times a second. That "high frequency of body turning," as Camhi puts it, makes the cockroach the most agile known animal of all creatures that turn as they navigate. The video revealed that signals from the insects´ antennae are critical to their speed.

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