Mother Nature’s little Gearbox

Scientists have discovered that a jumping insect has developed a system of gears linking its hind legs — to adjust, sync and time its leaps.

The gear teeth on the opposing hind-legs lock together like those in a car gear-box, ensuring almost complete synchronicity in leg movement – the legs always move within 30 ‘‘ of each other, with one microsecond equal to a millionth of a second.

This precise synchronisation would be impossible to achieve through a nervous system, as neural impulses would take far too long for the extraordinarily tight coordination required,” said lead author Professor Malcolm Burrows, from Cambridge’s Department of Zoology.

“The skeleton is used to solve a complex problem that the brain and nervous system can’t,”

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-09-functioning-mechanical-gears-nature.html#jCp

Source: Mother Nature invented the gear

This just shows how little we understand about inner and outer biological systems and how they work together. Imagine, the nervous system wasn’t fast enough – so the legs now interlock with gears. Its mind-blowing how many steps that would take to evolve!

As a further patronising ‘for my next trick…’ from Mother nature, these gears disappear in the adult form of the insect. Only the juveniles use them.

Leave a Reply