A study by scientists from the University of Cambridge has revealed how cooperative behaviour between insect family members changes how rapidly body size evolves – with the speed of evolution increasing when individual animals help one another.
A common insect larva that eats beeswax has been found to break down chemical bonds in the plastic used for packaging and shopping bags at uniquely high speeds. Scientists say the discovery could lead to a biotechnological approach to the polyethylene waste that chokes ocean ecosystems and landfill sites.
Latest research reveals why geckos are the largest animals able to scale smooth vertical walls – even larger climbers would require unmanageably large sticky footpads. Scientists estimate that a human would need adhesive pads covering 40% of their body surface in order to walk up a wall like Spider-Man, and believe their insights have implications for the feasibility of large-scale, gecko-like adhesives.
New research indicates that cockroaches use a combination of fast and slow twitch muscle fibres to give their mandibles a “force boost” that allows them to chew through tough materials.
New research shows beetles that received no care as larvae were less effective at raising a large brood as parents. Males paired with ‘low quality’ females - those that received no care as larvae - paid the price by dying younger, researchers found.
High-speed videos reveal that, unlike other jumping insects, the juvenile praying mantis does not spin out of control when airborne. In fact, it both creates and controls angular momentum at extraordinary speeds to orient its body for precise landings.
Scientists have discovered that, when upright, stick insects don’t stick. Instead, they deploy special hairy pads designed to create huge amounts of friction from the tiniest of pressure increases - ensuring that the insects grip but don’t stick.