Credit: IGOR SIWANOWICZ/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: 3D model, based on confocal laser scanning microscopy data, of the gear mechanism from a planthopper (family Flatidae). At bottom are the trochanters, the structures at the top of each hind leg. They have gear-like structures (teeth) that allow the hind legs to interlock and move together in perfect synchrony. This allows for more accurate and controlled jumping ability. Planthopper jumps can reach speeds of over 5.5 metres per second, experiencing forces of over 500g. Confocal laser scanning microscopy is an imaging technique that focuses a laser beam on or inside a sample, and produces an image from only the point in focus. The focal point can be scanned over the subject, allowing images of very thin layers of an object to be obtained, which can be combined in a computer to form a detailed 3D image.

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Keywords: 3d, animal, biological, biology, biomechanics, clsm, coloured, confocal laser scanning microscopy, coupling, entomological, entomology, false-coloured, fauna, flatid, flatidae, gears, green cone-headed planthopper, hidlegs, hind legs, insect, interlocking, jumping, micromechanics, model, nature, no-one, nobody, rotating, synchronising, teeth, three dimensional, trochanter, white background, wildlife, zoological, zoology

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Planthopper gear mechanism, CLSM model

K004/5250 Rights Managed

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Duration: 00:00:12

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Frame size: 1346x993

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