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Insect gears

Hopping insects have to coordinate their legs carefully. If they push off with one leg before the other they may literally spiral out of control. So how does the issus coleoptratus planthopper nymph avoid this? With gears.

Insect gears

University of Cambridge (Profs. Malcolm Burrows & Gregory Sutton) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

There is a tiny interlocking gear mechanism at the base of the planthopper nymph’s legs. When one leg pushes down, the other one does as well, coordinated by this natural feat of engineering.

Categories: Animals Sciences

The Generalist

I live in Auckland, New Zealand, and am curious about most things.

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