Have you ever watched an ant walk up a wall? Have you seen one upside down on a ledge while carrying something? How do insect feet stick like that?! Get a very close look at the minuscule foot anatomy of ants and cockroaches with Chris Clemente of Cambridge University:
Ants have incredibly sticky feet. With them they can hang onto ceilings, while carrying 100 times their body weight. But if they are stuck down so successfully – how do they ever get them unstuck? Chris Clemente is studying the mechanisms that ants and other insects (especially cockroaches) use to stick and unstick, and also to walk down as well as up walls. He also considers the applications that this might one day help to develop a ‘supersuper glue’ and to improve the movement of robots.
We love seeing how animals’ bodies work. Beyond the wonder of biodiversity, imagine how nature’s variations can inform, improve, and redefine our inventions. File under: biomimicry, biomechanics, and locomotion.