Here are 10 animals that continue to live after their heads are cut off.
Thanks to the popularity of zombie-themed television shows and movies, everybody now knows that getting rid of one of the undead menaces requires destroying or removing its head. Not all creatures are quite as easily taken down.
Here are 10 that carry on, at least for a good while, after they’ve lost theirs.
Number 10. Cockroaches. As their blood doesn’t circulate all that quickly, they have ample time to seal off the wound before excessive vital fluid loss occurs. They also don’t require the use of the brains in their heads, as they have back-up systems.
Number 9. Chickens. The birds are famous for running around after they’ve had theirs cut off, but one in particular managed to do so for a really long time. He came to be known as Miracle Mike and, thanks to a person who was willing to drop a nourishing mixture down his throat with an eyedropper, survived for 18 months.
Number 8. Snakes. Their heads live an hour or so after decapitation, and during that time they still have the power to do some serious damage. Both the biting and venom injecting reflexes remain strong enough to deliver a quick yet fatal blow.
Number 7. Flatworms. The invertebrates are largely unaffected by head loss, as most species have the power to just grow a new one. Similarly, the detached heads can regenerate bodies.
Number 6. Praying mantis. Dating can be tough, but it’s possible nobody’s love life is as bad as that of the male praying mantis. It’s common for them to be eaten after copulating, but as decapitation doesn’t adversely affect their ability to fertilize females, some get their heads consumed beforehand.
Number 5. Octopus. The sea creature’s 8 arms don’t completely rely on a central brain as each has a bit of a mind of its own. Individual tentacles are packed with highly capable neurons, allowing for continued responses to stimuli even after the appendages have been removed.
Number 4. Flies. The female ones of certain species have been observed preening, walking around, and flying for days and sometimes weeks after being rendered headless. Apparently, the males of the species aren’t put off by it, as they court those ladies all the time.
Number 3. Frogs. Spurring movement in their disarticulated legs doesn’t require that the amphibian has a brain, but it does call for a bit of stimulation. Both a pinch and a pinch of salt, it turns out, will do the trick. In the case of the latter, the extra sodium sets off a chain of reactions that results in muscular twitches.
Number 2. Salamanders. The axolotl variety in particular is well known for its ability to sprout replacement legs, spinal cords, and lungs. Situations that result in destruction of brain matter don’t present insurmountable problems either, as they can regrow that too.
Number 1. Snapping turtles. They’re accomplished hunters that have few predators, and when they do come upon one the turtles are known to put up quite a fight. Not even having their heads lopped off stops them from striking with their scissor-sharp beaks. They can continue to defend themselves that way for hours.