The giant burrowing cockroach (Macropanesthia rhinoceros) looks like a monster but is in fact a harmless creature. The gentle giant lacks wings and is not regarded as a pest.
The Australian native, mainly found in tropical parts of Queensland, is one of the largest cockroach species in the world, with individuals weighing up to 35 g and reaching 8 cm in length. (The only real competition for the title of biggest cockroach is Blaberus giganteus, the Central American giant cave cockroach, which weighs a little less but grows a little longer.)
The creatures make their homes by burrowing down about 1 m into soil, and play a vital ecological role by consuming dead leaves and other matter.
Originally published by Cosmos as The giant burrowing cockroach
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