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This Insect Has The Only Mechanical Gears Ever Found in Nature

Discussion in 'One Bread, One Body - Catholic' started by Michie, Nov 22, 2020.

  1. Michie

    Michie Human rights begin in the womb. Supporter

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    The small hopping insect Issus coleoptratus uses toothed gears on its joints to precisely synchronize the kicks of its hind legs as it jumps forward

    To the best of our knowledge, the mechanical gear—evenly-sized teeth cut into two different rotating surfaces to lock them together as they turn—was invented sometime around 300 B.C.E. by Greek mechanics who lived in Alexandria. In the centuries since, the simple concept has become a keystone of modern technology, enabling all sorts of machinery and vehicles, including cars and bicycles.

    As it turns out, though, a three-millimeter long hopping insect known as Issus coleoptratus beat us to this invention. Malcolm Burrows and Gregory Sutton, a pair of biologists from the University of Cambridgein the U.K., discovered that juveniles of the species have an intricate gearing system that locks their back legs together, allowing both appendages to rotate at the exact same instant, causing the tiny creatures jump forward.

    [​IMG]
    Issus coleoptratus

    [​IMG]
    The gears are located on the top segment of each of the insect’s hind legs

    Continued below.
    This Insect Has The Only Mechanical Gears Ever Found in Nature | Science | Smithsonian Magazine
     
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