Skip to comments.Scientists discover bizarre creature with mechanical gears on legs
Posted on 09/14/2013 2:03:26 PM PDT by nickcarraway
Issus coleoptratus, a plant-hopping insect, is the first living animal known to have functioning gears, scientists say.
Gears are ubiquitous in the man-made world, found in items ranging from wristwatches to car engines, but it seems that nature invented them first.
A species of plant-hopping insect, Issus coleoptratus, is the first living creature known to possess functional gears, a new study finds. The two interlocking gears on the insect's hind legs help synchronize the legs when the animal jumps.
"To the best of my knowledge, it's the first demonstration of functioning gears in any animal," said study researcher Malcolm Burrows, an emeritus professor of neurobiology at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.
Burrows and a colleague captured the gears' motion using high-speed video. As the young bug prepares to leap, it meshes the gear teeth of one leg with those of the other, like cocking a gun. Then, the insect releases its legs in one smooth, explosive motion. [See Video of the Insect Gears in Action] Each leg sports a curved strip of 10 to 12 gear teeth that attach to the trochantera on the insect's legs. These structures were described in 1957, but no one had demonstrated that the gears were functional, Burrows told LiveScience.
Insects' hind legs can be arranged in two ways. The legs of grasshoppers and fleas move in separate planes at the sides of their body, whereas those of champion jumping insects, such as planthoppers, move beneath their body along the same plane. Thus, planthoppers' legs need to be tightly coupled.
"If there were to be a slight timing difference between the legs, then the body would start to spin," Burrows said.
(Excerpt) Read more at csmonitor.com ...
Calling Michael Behe.
What a mesh...
Evolution becomes harder and harder to believe in for the infidels the more we learn about even the most “simplest” of creatures.
Random chance — is there anything it doesn’t know?
Proof that God is a Robot!../s
Ecclesiastes 1:9 (KJV) The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
Also, I don't regard human fingers as gears, but fingers can also interlock the hands for various purposes.
From the simplest of creatures to the heavens - the moon and the stars, how wonderful are His works.
Psalm 8:3-4 - When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which you have ordained; What is man that you take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him?
If you killed everything that didn’t work and allowed those that did to reproduce, but randomly exchanging (instructions for) piece parts, and you continued to do this over a few billion years, with many trillions of candidate organisms all the time, do you think you might possibly be surprised at discovering what “works?”
I think there is tendency to select what works, yes, which I think is quite extraordinary and unexplainable by reasoning that relies on random chance.
I grew up atheist and hating those who denied evolution. Now I’m on the other side of the fence.
When you add billions and trillions (the time interval goes up to infinity the more complex the mechanism) and a very heavy dose of faith, Random chance is very wise.
Video of the gears in action. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=gears-insect-plant-hopper-burrows
Oh, of course.
That’s why I’m looking forward to the day when they find a planet that looks just like Alfred E. Newman’s head.
Or a system that looks just like the lineup to Three’s Company. I mean, given enough time, anything’s possible, right?
Sure, I’m open to the possibility of a universe that was designed to reward good designs with survival success. I’m just hesitant to give random chance that credit.
It was refreshing to go to a SciAm link without them saying at the end...”Despite being around for millions of years, the Leaf Hopper now faces the dire threat of extinction because of Human Cause Climate Change”
Evolution has been camshafted
But, the reaper isn’t (entirely) random. There doesn’t need to be an outside scorekeeper to see who “wins” - the cold-blooded Law of Survival is, by itself, enough.
Would that not violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics: Entropy ?
No, entropy gets a lot worse where there are life forms mussing things up than when there aren’t. So, the Second Law is on our side.
Entropy only works in a closed system.
The universe has not been shown to be a closed system.
Local spacetime coordinates apparently act as a closed system, but their closure is not defined by any known mechanism, and so remains undefined. In a sense, everything around us acts like it's sealed off, but we don't know why, or what's sealing it off.
Thus, scientifically speaking, it's not a matter of evolution versus creation, but some sort of combination of both - in other words, evolution may well be one particular mechanism of creation, under certain circumstances.
What I’m saying is that the law of survival didn’t come about randomly.
You require an external agent to ensure that a maladapted organism, say, unable to carry oxygen in its blood, or lacking a protective layer, or exceptionally brightly colored and therefore loudly advertised to its predators, or jumping in circles because its legs aren’t synchronized, is to be killed?
No, I require an external agent to design a system that does all of that. I don’t think systems capable of evolving complex designs come about on their own.
I believe in natural selection and the altering of species. I do not believe one species “evolves” into another species. New species suddenly “appear” (their own words) no crossover fossils are ever found.
I’m pretty agnostic on the particulars of how new species come about. I just know (or am strongly convinced) that there’s a creative intelligence involved.
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