Demon iron beetle that can’t be crushed by a car

  The demon iron beetle can not only withstand the pecking of birds and the footsteps of humans, but it can also be crushed by cars without any damage. This beetle mainly lives in the arid areas of the west coast of the United States. It is about 2 cm long, dark black in color, and the surface of its shell is uneven. It feeds on fungi. Despite the scary name and appearance of the Demon Iron Beetle, it seems very timid and hides quickly when faced with threats.
  Unlike other beetles, the Demon Iron Beetle cannot fly. It gave up the ability to “fall and fly” and evolved the elytra and exoskeleton forewings into extremely hard armor. This insect carapace can resist up to 15 kilograms of impulse, which is 39,000 times the weight of the demon iron beetle itself. According to the transmission of force, no matter how hard the shell of this beetle is, it should not be able to offset the impact transmitted into the interior, so why is there nothing wrong with the beetle?
  Using advanced imaging technology, the researchers observed that the elytra of the demon iron beetle has a series of lamella joints combined in a jigsaw pattern, making the beetle’s exoskeleton unusually tough. It is this fine structure that makes the beetle not only have the ability to withstand huge impacts, but also flexibly fold its joints and hide in the cracks.
  Scientists in Japan and the United States are conducting further research on the demon iron beetle. They believe that if the mystery of the beetle’s resistance to stress can be completely solved, it will bring unimaginable breakthroughs in engineering and robotics.

  Looking at the birds flying freely in the sky, the “flying dream” of mankind emerged spontaneously. It took hundreds of years for mankind to realize this idea. But what we don’t know is that animals have worked hard for their “flying dreams” for thousands of years before birds, and that is reptiles.
Budding of “Flying Dream”

  The flying dream of reptiles began with the sky-tailed lizard. The Latin literary name of the sky-tailed lizard means “ancestor of the sky lizard”, which also illustrates this point. The sky-tailed lizard is a primitive double-bow reptile that lived in the late Permian (about 250 million years ago). It is related to the common ancestor of lizards and dinosaurs. In fact, if it were not for a pair of “wings”, the air-tailed lizard would look no different from modern lizards.
  There are several bone derivatives growing between the front and rear limbs of the empty-tailed lizard, which together with the attached skin support two “wing membranes”, which can glide between trees. The empty-tailed lizard is petite, with an average length of 60 cm. The skull is similar to that of a lizard, with pointed snouts and a bright emerald green appearance, which helps it to be invisible in the forest. All this makes it like a small stealth aircraft, swallowing them in one bite before the insects know it.
  The Kong Nai Lizard who lived in the Late Triassic Period (235 million years ago) inherited the “wings” of the empty-tailed lizard and carried it forward. Kong Nai Li’s abdomen has ribs up to 14 cm long on both sides, which are also covered with skin. Connecting these “wings” are strong abdominal muscles. This pair of longer and larger “wings” gives Kong Nai’s lizard stronger “flying” ability. According to the wind tunnel experiment of paleontologists, Kong Nai’s lizard can dive down from the tree and fly 9 meters away in one breath.
Advanced “Flying Dream”

  The longscale dragon, which appeared 5 million years later, was not satisfied with the gliding methods of its predecessors. It independently evolved a new structure: “feathers” on its back. The appearance and size of phoenix dragons were similar to those of lizards, but its body structure was similar to that of crocodiles and dinosaurs, such as the mandibular foramen and anterior orbital foramen similar to crocodiles, and the wishbone similar to dinosaurs. Because of these controversies, the taxonomic position of the long scale dragon has not yet been determined.
  But the strange thing about Longscale Dragon is not only that, it also has longer “feathers” on its back than its body. The number of “feathers” in the specimens of Garcinosaurs found so far is different. There are 7 long, 5 long, and 3 long. There is also a long scale dragon with only 1 “feather”. However, these “feathers” are very similar in shape. They are long and narrow attached to the back of the long-scaly dragon. The tail is rearward, and the shape is similar to a hockey stick, with a raised ridge in the center and flat flakes on both sides. Things. Taken individually, the “feathers” of the glabrasaurus are very similar to bird feathers, but compared to bird feathers, these “feathers” are too long and too few. The longest “feathers” reach 15 cm, which is more Linlong’s body length is very uncoordinated. Paleontologists have not yet understood what the “feathers” of Changlinsaurus are for, but they tend to believe that these “feathers” serve the same purpose as birds, and can be used for flying, heating, or attracting the opposite sex.
  Saloveyron, who lived with Changlinlong at the same time, has a different understanding of flying. It believes that the hang gliding wing membrane is still promising, but it must be “installed” on its hind legs.
  Saloveyron is a “little man” with a body length of only 30 cm, but has a pair of “big long legs” whose hind limbs are close to or even longer than body length. This pair of slender hind limbs are connected with a wide wing membrane, and when unfolded, it becomes a triangle-shaped “wing”. Salovey dragon is the first and only gliding animal with delta wings in the world. The delta wing structure is also used on modern jet combat aircraft. Practice has proved that the delta wing is a wing shape that can greatly increase the speed. Moreover, Salovey Dragon also has two pairs of delta wings, and its forelimbs also have a pair of small delta wings. Paleontologists believe that this pair of small delta wings controls the direction and balances the body.
  However, despite the “high-precision” delta wing blessing, Saloveyron can still only glide, because it does not have strong muscles to support long-distance flight, just like an unpowered fighter can not soar into the sky. Of course, compared with the same gliding predecessors, Salovey Dragon glide faster, and the way of hind limbs alar membrane also liberates the “hands”, when it glides vertically to the tree, the relatively free forelimbs You can catch small animals or pick food from trees, greatly improving the predation efficiency.

Realization of “Flying Dream”

  After another 20 million years, after repeated failures, the first type of vertebrate flying to the sky-pterosaurs finally realized the “flying dream” of reptiles.
  There are many species of pterosaurs. According to the current knowledge, humans speculate that there are more than 100 species of pterosaurs. Different types of pterosaurs vary in size. The smallest pterosaurs found so far are about twice as large as hummingbirds, while large pterosaurs are about the same size as an airplane. Despite their different body sizes, the pterosaurs all have good flying abilities.
  Early pterosaurs were smaller in size and similar in size to modern birds, and their flight strategy was the same as that of birds-to “weight down” as much as possible. The smallest pterosaur discovered so far, the forest pterosaur, is the leader in using this strategy.
  The forest pterosaur is about 9 cm long and has a wingspan of about 25 cm. In order to fly with small wings, the forest pterosaur has abandoned some things, such as teeth. Don’t look at the small teeth, but as one of the few hard tissues in the body, its weight cannot be underestimated. The teeth are gradually degenerating, and replacing them with a lighter and hollow horny beak is a good way to reduce weight. Therefore, not only the forest pterosaurs, but also the rising stars of the flying world, the birds, have adopted the same strategy. The forest pterosaur without teeth can only feed on various small insects, which in turn causes it to have no power source for long-term flight.
  In addition to the teeth, the forest pterosaur also abandoned some bones, such as the tail vertebra, which plays a role of balance, which is also used to reduce weight. As compensation, the forest pterosaur was covered with dense hair. The appearance of body surface hair makes the body of the forest pterodactyl more aerodynamics, reduces the friction caused by the contact between the body and the air flow during flight, and also improves the stability of the body during flight. Good flying ability allows the little forest pterodactyl to live well in the forest.
  The largest pterodactyl and one of the largest flying animals-Knott’s Fengshen pterodactyl, like its little friend Forest Pterodactyl, also abandoned teeth and part of the tail bone in order to lose weight. But the weight loss is only a fraction of its huge body, so paleontologists speculate that it must have other flying skills.
  The current found Pterodactylus aeolianus stands upright as tall as a giraffe, weighing up to 200 to 300 kilograms, and when it spreads its membranous wings and flies into the sky, its wingspan can reach about 11 meters. How did such a big pterodactyl take off? Paleontologists at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom believe that Aeolus pterodactyl used strong limbs (hind limbs and wrists of wings) to kick off the ground and use the reaction force provided by the ground to take off. Once off the ground, the wing membrane of the Fengshen pterodactyl can control the wind and travel in the sky well.
  Both pterosaurs and bats use wing membranes to fly, but the wing membranes of the two are slightly different. Bats use extended 2 to 5 fingers to open the wing membrane, while pterosaurs only use one finger. The advantage of using one finger is that it is easier to grasp the balance when flying in the air. The wing membranes of pterosaurs are covered with multiple layers of fibers, one of which is called “radial fibers”. The radial fibers greatly improve the tensile strength (the maximum stress at which the material can withstand tension without breaking) and toughness of the pterosaur wing membrane. Precisely because of this, pterosaurs only need to use one finger to control a membrane-like wing without bone involvement, so that other flying animals can use more complex wings (such as the multi-finger wing membrane of bats and the complex feathered wings of birds). The effect achieved.
  In addition to the delicate structure of the wing membrane, studies have shown that the brain of the pterosaur also played an important role in the process of flight. The paleontologist Marg Gleason of Stanford University used X-rays to scan the skull of the pterosaur and found that the pterosaur had developed part of the brain tissue, a large area of ​​which was the position and balance center of the pterosaur , Can measure small changes in yaw and steering in all directions, and issue instructions to fine-tune the wings.
  How far can the Fengshen pterodactyl fly after takeoff? Paleontologists created a model of the Fengshen pterosaur for wind tunnel flight tests. The results showed that pterosaurs may not be good at flying very fast, but their body structure makes them very suitable for slow flight in rising warm air. At the same time, the energy efficiency ratio of the pterosaur in this low-speed flight mode is very high, and it can fly for a long time without a lot of energy. There are even paleontologists claiming that Aeolus pterosaurs can fly 16,000 kilometers at a time.
  If there is a will, everything will come true. As long as you are willing to work hard for your ideals, you will succeed one day. Let us congratulate the reptiles who persisted and finally realized their “flying dream”.