Roach Death and Upside-Down
Name: Amanda C. R.
When roaches die, why are they usually upside down?
Just a guess, but I suspect a lot of them die while standing on a vertical
surface. Given the shape (rounded topside) and weight distribution (high
center of gravity when standing since their legs weigh very little), from
the aerodynamics, a falling roach would tend to land on its back. If you
have the stomach to experiment, take a dead roach body and drop it multiple
times from some height (e.g. a foot or two or three), from vertical
(climbing wall), inverted (climbing ceiling), or right side up position. I
think even from right side up a lot would land on their back.
A lot of dead roaches also seem to have their legs curled under them, which
aside from having a high center of gravity, leads to a very narrow base, so
the right side up position is unstable. A little breeze would knock it
over and roll it on its back, a position where most of its weight is low to
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Update: June 2012