I received a rather unusual email today from Steve Clark which read, in part:
"I wanted to notify you about an educational resource developed by my company Orkin Pest Control. It is a fully interactive virtual cockroach designed to be an instructional tool about insect anatomy."I visited the website and found it to be rather detailed, including micrographs of every imaginable slice of cockroach. I have to say, it was more than I ever wanted to know about cockroach innards!
And it never before occurred to me that the cockroach might make a useful tool for the study of insects because, as the Orkin Virtual Roach page points out, the cockroach is both a familiar insect and readily available. Think of how cheaply students could acquire supplies for lab class. Folks might even be willing to pay students to collect their roaches. Now that's a win-win solution!
I like the idea of taking this "useless" pest and finding a purpose for it. Good luck, Orkin! I hope that your virtual cockroach has a long and happy life.
Photo credit: Anil Jadhav, via flickr // CC BY 2.0