A scanning electron micrograph image of the gears. Credit: Malcolm Burrows

The science blogs were all a flutter last week with the announcement that researchers in the UK had identified the only known example of a mechanical gear in nature.

The gear in question belongs to the adolescent form of the Issus genus of planthoppers, small flightless insects that feed on phloem. The precision gearing mechanism is found at the top of its legs and is used to synchronize them as it jumps.  Learn more from Popular Mechanics.

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