Politics and science, humor and hypocrisy. METANOODLE
Thursday, 12 September 2013
Insect leg has living mechanical gears
Scanning electron view of leg joint
Astonishing to learn that a tiny insect has real living gears for leg joints. I thought only people had invented them. They are found in the plant hopping leg joints of juvenile Issus. The gears solve a jumping problem, getting all the parts of the leg to synchronize suddenly in thirty millionths of a second, way faster than the nerves could set up the jump, guaranteeing a controlled jump that doesn't spin out of control. See photo. hat tip Science Daily News reporting on Cambridge research.