Amazing Animals-part 4- The Natures Driving Force

It is a both significant and daunting stage in someone’s life when, for the first time, they are deemed ‘responsible’ enough to get behind the wheel of a fossil fuelled tonne of metal, which is capable of doing some serious damage. Being 17 the scary experience of learning to drive is something I’m familiar with, I personally struggled with clutch control but for many it is the system of gears; we often confine gears to the realms of mechanical engineering and technology but they can be seen all around us in nature and in biology. Recent studies at the University of Cambridge have found that some ivy eating insects developed gears millions of years ago and have been using them to propel themselves from the ground at speeds of up to 5m/s, these insects belong to the genus Issus, belonging to the family Issidae of infraorder Fulgoromorpha of suborder Auchenorrhyncha of order Hemiptera.. Could mankind takes some tips from these insects to help 17 year olds everywhere learn to drive a little easier?

Functioning 'mechanical gears' seen in nature for the first time

Ollie Short


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