Functioning Gears Discovered in Legs of Issus Insect

Insect with gears

University of Cambridge researchers Malcolm Burrows and Gregory Sutton recently discovered functioning gears in the legs of the Issus “Planthopper” insect. The gears, complete with teeth, synchronize the movement of the insect’s rear legs, allowing it to jump quickly and accurately. They are the only known interacting gears in an animal. The discovery was outlined in a research paper recently published in Science.

Insect with gears

Issus insect

images via Malcolm Burrows

via Smithsonian Magazine