Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Mechanical gears in jumping insects

The biological form of a mechanical gear was observed in nature in juvenile planthoppers (Genus: Issus), a common insect that can be found in gardens across Europe.

The insect has hind-leg joints with curved cog-like strips of opposing ‘teeth’ that intermesh, rotating like mechanical gears to synchronize the animal’s legs when it launches into a jump. The finding demonstrates that gear mechanisms previously thought to be solely man-made have an evolutionary precedent.


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