Light weight helps to prevent mosquitoes from death from raindrops


06/06/2012

Super-fast video helped investigators find that mosquitoes can easily carry collision with rain drops due to heavy-duty chitin armor and low body weight.

Insects are the most numerous and widespread group of multicellular creatures on planet Earth. Many of them fly well and use their wings to move over long distances - up to thirty miles a day. Despite their tiny size, insects during heavy wind and rain, the difficulty is not with the flight test.

A group of biologists from the Institute of Technology in the United States, headed by Hu Deyvidoim revealed the secret of invulnerability mosquitoes before the blows rain drops, tracing the insect clash with drops of water with a high-speed camera, which captures a mosquito with a very high speed.

Hu and his team have built a transparent mesh cage and put a special device on its top, which produces microscopic droplets that are similar in size and speed of flight with rain drops. Scientists have put into it and become mosquito observe the behavior of the insect, and what causes the reaction of his clash with drops.

High-speed photography to portray that "rain" almost no effect on the movement of a mosquito - his body swept through the drops, no contact with them. This insect behavior has surprised scientists - in their opinion, the collision of a gnat and the ratio of the mass of a drop compared with collisions on the bus person, but these insect encounters virtually no attention.

The researchers suggested that the incredible mosquito resistance is directly related to the small mass of insect. This assumption is they checked with a set of dummy (Styrofoam ball) with different size, density and mass.

Scientists put the balls in a special device that supports them in the air until the moment when they begin to deal with drops of water. This has helped to simulate accurately what is happening when flying mosquito in the rain, and to compare the results of two studies.

The experiment showed that the foam ball size and weight mosquito slows raindrop only ten percent. In other words, the drop spends only a small fraction of their energy on collision with a mosquito. Scientists believe that such a strike is similar to a mosquito collision with a small feather, and his health is not threatened in any way.

The largest insects, including dragonflies, whose mass of about a gram, do not have such protection. In this case, the body absorbs the dragonfly to ninety percent of the energy drops, which severely limits their speed and freedom of flight maneuvers in the rain.

The researchers believe that their experiences can help physicists and engineers to develop a microscopic robots and flying machines that are resistant to shock element.


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