Thursday, December 15, 2011 at 12 p.m.
Yes, friends, this week scientists announced the discovery of the newest, scariest addition to the already dream-haunting 4,000 species of the sewer bug -- and this one jumps.
The leaproach, scientific name saltoblattella montistabularis, is noted as an "evolution" of the cockroach with "extreme" bulging eyes to pinpoint landing spots, more aerodynamic antenna sockets for flying, muscular, grasshopper-like back legs to jump 48 times its body length, and an appetite for grasshopper poop (we're not going to ask how they know it's "a favorite").
"Other cockroaches that live in the same environment haven't bothered to evolve an ability to jump," writes zoologist Mike Picker of the University of Cape Town and leader of a Dec. 6 Biology Letters study detailing the leaproach's hopping mechanics. "But this small cockroach has quite literally made the leap."
Picker also noted that the leaproach out-jumps the locust. Welcome to 2012..