The insect exoskeleton – a versatile tool for locomotion

Biological Structures and Biomimetics, HS Bremen, Germany

Date(s) : 24/06/2020   iCal
16 h 00 min - 17 h 00 min

The insect exoskeleton is probably one of the evolutionary most successful skeletal structures. In my talk I will present and discuss a few selected examples of how morphology and biomechanical properties of the cuticle exoskeleton are closely correlated with basically all forms of insect locomotion, from flight to walking and even falling. Specific structures in the wings of locusts for example increase the wing’s resistance to fracture with a minimum of additional weight, thus allowing the locusts to migrate over long distances without wing failure. The locusts’ jumping hind leg tibia shows a structure biomechanically optimal to resist bending forces. Adhesive organs allow insects to stick to many surfaces, however can be tricked using a characteristic roughness. Finally, I will present a current project to illustrate how insects cope with “unwanted” forms of locomotion, such as falling or lying on their backs.

Prof. Dr. Jan-Henning Dirks, Biological Structures and Biomimetics, HS Bremen, Germany


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