This is how the “hinge” on an insect’s wing works

The insects They were the first animals to develop the ability to fly. Their wings are different from those of other flying animals such as pterosaurs, birds and bats. Instead of developing from limbs, their wings have one complex, unique “hinge” that connects the wing to the body.

Insect wings are different from those of other flying animals, they have a unique complex “hinge” that connects them to the body

This joint is an interconnected system of five elements Sclerites which interact with the muscles to move the wings. Until now, its mechanics have been a mystery because the four critical sclerites at the base of the wing are difficult to see from the outside and move so quickly that it is difficult to film them clearly.

Now, an international team of researchers led by the California Institute of Technology (USA) combined real-time images of the entire control muscles with simultaneous ultra-high-speed 3D videography to capture the movement of the flies’ wings. Fruit while flying in an electronic simulator. The results will be published in the journal Nature.

Measure its aerodynamic functions

From the data of more than 72,000 individual flapsthe technology of machine learning A model of how sclerite muscles control wing movement was designed using artificial intelligence (AI), and a tiny robotic fly was used to measure its aerodynamic functions.

“The results provide a compelling physics-based model of the ‘hinge’ as well as a set of hypotheses that can be tested through new experiments,” the authors note.

The authors hope their conclusions will help better understand the circuits that control flight.

By also creating a detailed map of the fly’s neural connections, the scientists hope their findings will help better understand the fly’s flight control circuits.

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