Cockroach cerci, SEM

Cockroach cerci, SEM

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Caption: Cockroach cerci. Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the cerci on the tip of the abdomen of an American Cockroach (Periplaneta americana). Cerci (singular cercus) are appendages found in many arthropods, which in cockroaches are modified to detect air currents created by potential predators. Fine hairs on the cerci detect air movements and nerve cells connected to the hairs allow the cockroach to process and act on the information. The cockroach retreats by running in the same direction as the air flow it perceives. Magnification: x50 when printed 10 centimetres wide.

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