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Scientists discover bizarre creature with mechanical gears on legs
Christian Science Monitor ^ | September 13, 2013 | Tanya Lewis

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 ...


TOPICS: Pets/Animals; Science
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 09/14/2013 2:03:26 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway
Scientists discover bizarre one of God's creatures with mechanical gears on legs ... obviously intelligent design
2 posted on 09/14/2013 2:05:12 PM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true)
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To: nickcarraway
Wow.

Calling Michael Behe.

3 posted on 09/14/2013 2:05:39 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("See something, say something.")
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To: nickcarraway

What a mesh...

Heh heh


4 posted on 09/14/2013 2:05:54 PM PDT by meyer (What would John Hancock do?)
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To: nickcarraway

Evolution becomes harder and harder to believe in for the infidels the more we learn about even the most “simplest” of creatures.


5 posted on 09/14/2013 2:06:37 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
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To: nickcarraway

6 posted on 09/14/2013 2:08:47 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I aim to raise a million plus for Gov. Palin. What'll you do?.)
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To: nickcarraway

Random chance — is there anything it doesn’t know?


7 posted on 09/14/2013 2:10:26 PM PDT by Yardstick
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To: nickcarraway

Proof that God is a Robot!../s


8 posted on 09/14/2013 2:11:40 PM PDT by Dallas59 (Obama: The first "White Black" President.)
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To: nickcarraway; All
This brings Ecclesiastes 1:9 to mind.
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.

9 posted on 09/14/2013 2:17:49 PM PDT by Amendment10
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To: Amendment10
Thanks for sharing that verse!

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?

10 posted on 09/14/2013 2:29:29 PM PDT by Moorings
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To: Yardstick

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?”


11 posted on 09/14/2013 2:32:44 PM PDT by coloradan (The US has become a banana republic, except without the bananas - or the republic.)
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To: nickcarraway

It’s cool.


12 posted on 09/14/2013 2:34:10 PM PDT by Viennacon
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To: nickcarraway

13 posted on 09/14/2013 2:34:53 PM PDT by COBOL2Java (I'm a Christian, pro-life, pro-gun, Reaganite. The GOP hates me. Why should I vote for them?)
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To: coloradan

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.


14 posted on 09/14/2013 2:40:58 PM PDT by Yardstick
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To: Yardstick

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.


15 posted on 09/14/2013 2:41:42 PM PDT by Moorings
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To: nickcarraway

Video of the gears in action. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=gears-insect-plant-hopper-burrows


16 posted on 09/14/2013 2:43:47 PM PDT by BykrBayb (Somewhere, my flower is there. ~ Þ)
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To: Moorings

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?

Yeah, right.


17 posted on 09/14/2013 2:47:03 PM PDT by Yardstick
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To: coloradan

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.


18 posted on 09/14/2013 2:57:07 PM PDT by Yardstick
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To: Yardstick
Atheists have their own god and don't know it, it is called random chance. Silly tittle for a “god.”
19 posted on 09/14/2013 3:17:56 PM PDT by Fungi
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To: BykrBayb

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”


20 posted on 09/14/2013 3:34:48 PM PDT by dsrtsage (One half of all people have below average IQ. In the US the number is 54%)
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To: nickcarraway

Evolution has been camshafted


21 posted on 09/14/2013 3:54:33 PM PDT by bunkerhill7 (("The Second Amendment has no limits on firepower"-NY State Senator Kathleen A. Marchione.))
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To: Yardstick

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.


22 posted on 09/14/2013 4:21:08 PM PDT by coloradan (The US has become a banana republic, except without the bananas - or the republic.)
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To: coloradan
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?”
here's good read..the Blind Watchmaker; postulated precisely that...

23 posted on 09/14/2013 5:08:20 PM PDT by skinkinthegrass (who'll take tomorrow,$pend it all today;who can take your income & tax it all away..0'Blowfly can :-)
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To: coloradan
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?”

Would that not violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics: Entropy ?

24 posted on 09/14/2013 5:31:41 PM PDT by Popman (Liberal wars are about killing people for humanitarian reasons...)
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To: Popman

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.


25 posted on 09/14/2013 10:11:31 PM PDT by coloradan (The US has become a banana republic, except without the bananas - or the republic.)
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To: Popman
Would that not violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics: Entropy ?

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.

26 posted on 09/14/2013 11:31:58 PM PDT by Talisker (One who commands, must obey.)
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To: coloradan

What I’m saying is that the law of survival didn’t come about randomly.


27 posted on 09/14/2013 11:42:02 PM PDT by Yardstick
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To: Yardstick

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?


28 posted on 09/15/2013 5:53:22 AM PDT by coloradan (The US has become a banana republic, except without the bananas - or the republic.)
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To: coloradan

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.


29 posted on 09/15/2013 6:18:25 AM PDT by Yardstick
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To: Yardstick

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.


30 posted on 09/15/2013 6:23:28 AM PDT by central_va (I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: central_va

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.


31 posted on 09/15/2013 6:46:05 AM PDT by Yardstick
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