How insect wings withstand collisions without breaking

About once a second wings of foraging bees collide with small obstacles such as flowers, leaves or branches during flight without suffering major long-term damage. At the same time, they withstand aerodynamic loads effortlessly—yet ...

Dragonflies perform upside down backflips to right themselves

The findings add to current knowledge of how insects fly and keep stable in the air. They could also help to inspire new designs in small aerial vehicles like drones, which can be useful for search-and-rescue attempts and ...

Study reveals unique physical, chemical properties of cicada wings

Biological structures sometimes have unique features that engineers would like to copy. For example, many types of insect wings shed water, kill microbes, reflect light in unusual ways and are self-cleaning. While researchers ...

Beating the heat in the living wings of butterflies

A new study from Columbia Engineering and Harvard identified the critical physiological importance of suitable temperatures for butterfly wings to function properly, and discovered that the insects exquisitely regulate their ...

Earwigs and the art of origami

ETH Zurich researchers have developed multifunctional origami structures, which they then fabricated into 4-D printed objects. The design principle mimics the structure of an earwig's wing.

Striking green-eyed butterfly discovered in the United States

A new butterfly species from Texas, given the common name Vicroy's Ministreak, was discovered because of its striking olive green eye color, and was given a formal scientific name (Ministrymon janevicroy). This beautiful ...

Changing the way we fly

An airplane roaring down the runway and into the air is a familiar sight to most travellers today. In fact, this image has not changed much in 50 years. While significant advances have been made in terms of fuel economy, ...

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