DailyDirt: Nature Creates Some Cool Stuff
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
Insect evolution is pretty amazing in general, but there are a few examples that are almost incredible. For example, people have discovered enormous ant colonies, wasps that can create zombies, and the ways that insects exhibit a collective intelligence that looks surprisingly smarter than any individual bug. Considering that insects, by weight and numbers, surpass humans by at least an order of magnitude, we might want to keep an eye on these invertebrates. Here are just a few more fascinating examples of awesome insect abilities.
- An insect known as Issus coleoptratus apparently beat humans to the invention of the mechanical gear. This bug uses its gear mechanism to lock its hind legs together so that it can jump straight forward, and this is the only known example of a naturally-occurring gear in nature. [url]
- The dung beetle, Scarabaeus satyrus, is an astronomer, using its vision of the entire Milky Way to help it navigate at night. Without a view of our galaxy in the sky, beetles would wander and seem lost in experiments that show that dung beetles use astronomy for navigation. [url]
- Goniurellia tridens is a fruit fly that evolved very detailed images of ants on its wings. When this fly flaps its wings, it confuses its predators -- but some observers say the images are of spiders (not ants) and trick spiders into thinking about mating (not eating). [url]