Gears Synchronize Propulsive Leg Movements in a Jumping Insect


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Posted by Ron V on September 13, 2013 at 19:09:43:

"Gears are found rarely in animals and have never been reported to intermesh and rotate functionally like mechanical gears. We now demonstrate functional gears in the ballistic jumping movements of the flightless planthopper insect Issus. The nymphs, but not adults, have a row of cuticular gear (cog) teeth around the curved medial surfaces of their two hindleg trochantera. The gear teeth on one trochanter engaged with and sequentially moved past those on the other trochanter during the preparatory cocking and the propulsive phases of jumping. Close registration between the gears ensured that both hindlegs moved at the same angular velocities to propel the body without yaw rotation. At the final molt to adulthood, this synchronization mechanism is jettisoned."

Link to the full article - http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/environment/the-first-gear-discovered-in-nature-15916433?click=pm_latest

http://www.popularmechanics.com/cm/popularmechanics/images/ba/Issus-02-0913-de.jpg


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