• Question: is it true that after the world ends or after an atomic blast that the only living creature would be a cochroche?

    Asked by claudiat to Jo, Kevin on 22 Jun 2012.
    • Photo: Kevin Mahon

      Kevin Mahon answered on 22 Jun 2012:

      No – not exactly anyway!

      Although cockroaches can resist levels of radiation that would easily kill almost any vertebrate (animal with a spine), they’re actually pretty average in their radiation resistance when compared with other insects.

      For instance, there’s a type of chironomid midge – a little, harmless fly that looks kinda like a mosquito, that can withstand levels of radiation 10,000 higher than a cockroach!

      So basically, the lesson is not so much that cockroaches are super-tough, but more that vertebrates are really wimpy when it comes to radiation! Cockroaches likely will survive but they’ll have lots of insects for company!

    • Photo: Joanna Cruden

      Joanna Cruden answered on 22 Jun 2012:

      let us hope not! I guess it also depends on how the world ends, if it gets destroyed by a comet or burnt because it is too close to the sun nothing is likely to survive, for atomic bombs there are different theory’s about what will survive, and what creatures won’t, I hope that none of us ever have to find out for sure though.