Scientists discover a real insect with a mechanical gear system

Issus coleoptratus

Mechanical gears were first made by humans, that’s what we thought up until a pair of biologists from the University of Cambridge in the U.K. chose to kick us down a notch. According to both Malcolm Burrows and Gregory Sutton, the insect known by its scientific name, Issus coleoptratus, is the first to come up with mechanical gears.

Strangely enough though, only the juvenile of the species are able to use gearing system to their advantage. The system basically locks the back legs together, which enables both appendages to rotate instantly, causing this tiny little insect to jump forward. It’s pretty impressive for an insect, which goes to show how awesome nature is.

Now, this is the first time the mechanical gear system is discovered in nature, so don’t be too surprised if other creatures are capable of doing similar things. We still find it odd that only the youngsters of the Issus coleoptratus species is capable of pulling off a workable mechanical gear system, that’s nature for you.

According to Malcolm Burrows in a recent press statement, “In Issus, the skeleton is used to solve a complex problem that the brain and nervous system can’t.” Oh how awesome it would be is the human skeleton could do a similar thing, we can only dream.

Unfortunately though, several Issus coleoptratus died in confirming how the mechanical gear system works.

[via Smithsonian]

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