How Tiny Mosquitoes Survive Raindrops’ Blow | Insect Flight…

18 Мар 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »
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How Tiny Mosquitoes Survive Blow

A mosquito among droplets. Thanks to their low mosquitoes can survive hits droplets 50 times their own

Credit: Hu Laboratory for Biolocomotion, Tech

A mosquito getting hit by a is the equivalent of a human getting hit by a But new research finds that bloodsucking insects have no absorbing the blow.

Mosquitoes so little that raindrops splash on them, researchers Monday (June 4) in the journal of the National Academy of Sciences. mosquitoes get stuck to the drops, up to 20 times the length of their before freeing themselves and off, unharmed.

The drop comes at the speed of a and instead of the mosquito resisting the applied by the drop, it basically adhered to the drop like a study leader David Hu, a of mechanical engineering and biology at Tech, told LiveScience.

By this, the mosquito really the force that gets by the drop, Hu said. [Gallery: Mosquitoes ]

Withstanding raindrops

uncanny ability to survive may be key to their survival in humid It may also be key to engineering tiny flying machines that can outdoor environments, Hu said.

No one had how these flying robots survive rain, nor had anyone how living insects do so, Hu said. So he and his engineered an experiment to smart mosquitoes with water to see how they’d respond. They put in mesh cages, which every few seconds to prevent the from landing. They dropped water on the insects the same forces that be present in a rainstorm.

Though raindrops are up to 50 times the of a mosquito, it was immediately clear collisions were not fatal. blows sent mosquitoes in the air, but they soon Direct hits resulted in the and water drops falling before the insects got free and their flight.

Surviving the deluge

To understand how the survived, Hu and his colleagues suspended pellets of various weights water droplets. and found mosquitoes’ low mass explains ability to survive. If a mosquito on a twig gets hit by a droplet, the will crush the insect 10,000 times its body in force. But if a mosquito is hit in midair, 10 percent of the droplet’s force to the insect’s body. That’s about 0.02 ounces grams) for a typical droplet, the of a mosquito being hit by a feather.

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In contrast, a dragonfly that more than 1,000 that of a mosquito would 90 percent of a droplet’s force. The dragonfly would stop the rather than surfing it like the lightweight mosquito.

something special about very lightweight, Hu said.


If fly too close to the ground, they do death by droplet, the researchers The insects need to leave five to 20 body lengths to from the raindrops, or they’ll hit the at a speed of 1,000 mosquito per second.

In their natural mosquitoes probably seek from rain, Hu said. But need to be able to survive the droplets during that mad Hu and his colleagues now plan to investigate how deal with other weather conditions, such as dew .

It’s well known these insects are robust. basically can survive any kind of and most weather conditions, Hu We want to understand what adaptations do they have to these kinds of things and how can be used for engineering?

You can follow senior writer Stephanie on Twitter @sipappas . Follow for the latest in science news and on Twitter @livescience and on Facebook .

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