Friday, September 13, 2013

cog wheels in nature

Just about the time human beings snuggle down in the cozy assumption that they are without doubt the inventive pinnacle of the animal kingdom, Nature provides a fly in the self-aggrandizing ointment.
Previously believed to be only human-made, a natural example of a functioning gear mechanism has been discovered in a common insect -- showing that evolution developed interlocking cogs long before we did.
British researchers announced their discovery after studying the juvenile Issus, "a plant-hopping insect found in gardens across Europe." That discovery: Cog wheels connecting the hind legs of the insect that had not previously been credited with a mechanical engineering degree.

Anyone feeling unduly deflated by this discovery may want to consider that there was no mention in the research announcement of whether the Issus could shoot rubber bands or pick its nose.

1 comment:

  1. There can be no real wheels for locomotion in biological systems because the wheel must be physically independent of its host while functioning for it .Thus it cannot be sustained by the host to remain alive, unless it is another organism functioning symbiotically with the host or is wholly a wheel on its own.

    Boghos L. Artinian MD