Document Detail

Interacting gears synchronize propulsive leg movements in a jumping insect.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  24031019     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Process    
Gears are found rarely in animals and have never been reported to intermesh and rotate functionally like mechanical gears. We now demonstrate functional gears in the ballistic jumping movements of the flightless planthopper insect Issus. The nymphs, but not adults, have a row of cuticular gear (cog) teeth around the curved medial surfaces of their two hindleg trochantera. The gear teeth on one trochanter engaged with and sequentially moved past those on the other trochanter during the preparatory cocking and the propulsive phases of jumping. Close registration between the gears ensured that both hindlegs moved at the same angular velocities to propel the body without yaw rotation. At the final molt to adulthood, this synchronization mechanism is jettisoned.
Malcolm Burrows; Gregory Sutton
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Science (New York, N.Y.)     Volume:  341     ISSN:  1095-9203     ISO Abbreviation:  Science     Publication Date:  2013 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-09-13     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0404511     Medline TA:  Science     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1254-6     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.
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