Working Gears Evolved in Plant-Hopping Insect – by Scientific American

This jumping insect is a juvenile Issus
coleoptratus, also known as a planthopper. It makes a living hopping
from plant to plant and extracting sugar from the plants’ veins. Unlike many jumping insects, the
planthopper’s legs are directly under its body. And this creates a unique problem. Unless both legs fire with exactly the same
force and within microseconds of each other, Issus goes spinning through the air
like a poorly thrown Frisbee. In contrast, a grasshopper’s legs
are positioned outside its body, which gives it a larger margin
for error when taking off. A new study in the journal Science reveals
how Issus has resolved this problem. On the inside of the insect’s thighs
are two sets of teeth. When it jumps, the teeth lock together moving past each other at a rate of
50,000 teeth per second. This keeps the planthopper’s legs
completely synchronized. According to the researchers,
it is the first time that real working gears have ever been
described in an animal. And they may be the first
to have appeared on planet Earth. The planthopper has been around
for many millions of years, long before humans invented
their version of the gear. For Scientific American I’m Eric Olson. [Written & edited by Eric R. Olson] [Photos & footage courtesy of Malcolm Burrows] [“Interacting Gears Synchronize Propulsive
Leg Movements in a Jumping Insect,” ] [by M. Burrows; G. Sutton at University
of Cambridge in Cambridge, UK;]
[G. Sutton at University of Bristol in Bristol] [For more science news and information
visit] [English transcipt by NagySandor. EU]

45 Replies to “Working Gears Evolved in Plant-Hopping Insect – by Scientific American

  1. Decode the genome, find the gene responsible and incorporate the design into the ever growing world of molecular manufacturing

  2. Well, it is not that hard. For instance we invented sonar before we discovered that bats and some other animals use sound for navigation. The nature is amazing.

  3. Evolution? don't be silly. How can you watch a video like this andstill believe in evolution? Plus this is just one tiny part of a tiny animal/insect. Who created the wheels and gears we use today? Intelligent life did(well some of us anyways), so who do you think created this insect and the wheels and gears this insect uses for jumping? Nobody? it just happened?

  4. over millions and millions of years? like litterally more time than a human brain can even fathom. tiny variations allowing for the survival or death of an animal… you know what, i'm not going to explain natural selection to you.

  5. I am really disappointing in the comments of this video. The one thing that does give me comfort is "a fact is a fact no matter how we feel about it."

  6. Who didnt hear the millions of years part. Not thousands. Read some of E. O. Wilsons books on insect evolution.

  7. God is yelling to a blind, deaf and dying world!!  Gears, pumps, motors, sonar systems and information systems such as found in DNA etc., DO NOT come about by unguided processes!!!!!!! When trying to explain the past, one shouldn't invent exotic causes of the sort we have NEVER seen in operation, but rather we should invoke causes that are KNOWN to produce the effects in question. Lyels way of saying this, is we should be looking for PRESENTLY acting causes. So the question is, what is the PRESENTLY acting cause of pumps, gears, sonar, motors, optical lens and digital coded information systems etc.,?? We know of ONLY one, intelligence! So we are not arguing from our ignorance but from our knowledge of causes and effects!

    Ecc 1:9 "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun."

    Job 12:7 "But ask the animals – they will teach you.."

    Rom 1:19 "because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse."

  8. We loved this video on

  9. Uhm, I would've never thought legs under an insect body would be problematic for them. I still find it hard to understand

  10. 50,000 teeth per second sounds misleading. It doesn't have that many teeth, but the jump occurs in a fraction of a second so the rate per second is much larger

  11. For those of you who are saying it's an "Animal"(y'all probably need to go back to kindergarten) do y'all at least know the difference between an "INSECT" and a "ANIMAL" if so please explain??????……………….because it's an insect all day long

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