A Insect Question

  • Thread starter Kt_Atis
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  • #1
Kt_Atis
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How is it possible for insects to survive after they've had their head removed?
 

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  • #2
jim mcnamara
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Short answer - the insect brain doesn't control body functions the way it does in mammals, for instance. Insects don't have an autonomic nervous system. Breathing in insects is passive - they have spiracles (holes) in the exoskeleton to allow air exchange for the body tissues.

Humans- heartbeat and breathing are under control of the brain. Remove the brain and breathing and heartbeat go away. Periplaneta spp. (cockroaches) can live for days without a head.
 
  • #3
moe darklight
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Humans- heartbeat and breathing are under control of the brain. Remove the brain and breathing and heartbeat go away.

My understanding was that heart muscle, being myogenic, is not controlled by the brain and heart rate can keep at a steady pace -- even outside the body (if provided with oxygen etc.) . I hope I didn't misunderstand since this is one of my favorite useless-facts to bring up when a conversation goes awkward and silent and there's nothing to talk about :smile:
 
  • #4
jim mcnamara
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Read about the parasympathetic effects on the heart of the vagus nerve:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vagus_nerve

Most things in Biology are not absolute statements- it is possible to keep heart tissues alive and well outside the body.
 

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