- Nature's Nightmares March 25
It seems like just yesterday that Periplaneta japonica invaded Manhattan, but the Northeast is now home to a new invasive cockroach species — one that's not actually "invasive" at all. Scientists have recently determined that four species of Ectobius, a cockroach found in Europe and Africa that recently appeared in the U.S., actually lived in North America 49 million years ago.
A study of 21 fossils at the Smithsonian Institution has revealed that the four species of Ectobius date back to the Eocene era. "It's amazing how one little discovery can change the entire understanding of the history of this particular lineage of cockroaches," said Conrad Labandeira, curator of fossil arthropods at the National Museum of Natural History.
Labandeira says Ectobius may have gone extinct in North America due to harsh conditions as glaciers moved south, perhaps causing the roaches to migrate to Europe. Luckily, though, America has proven hospitable to these fine creatures once again, and residents of Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire can now welcome these adorable animals back home.- -
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- In Ferguson, Michael Brown lost his life — and America's police lost the benefit of the doubt
- Republicans love this new health care plan. Too bad it's basically a tax cut for the rich.
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- 8 tricks to surviving the holidays without gaining weight or being grouchy
- In defense of Gwyneth Paltrow
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- 17 old proverbs we should use more often
- Adam Sandler's 'Thanksgiving Song': Explaining the 22-year-old tune's pop-culture references
- Don't blame Chuck Hagel: Obama's foreign policy has been a disaster from end to end
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
Subscribe to the Week