Authors Hensel, R. ; Werner, C.
Title Lessons from nature – the smart skin pattern of springtails
Date 31.07.2013
Number 40206
Abstract Concepts found in nature have great potential for novel or improved products and technologies for humans in the daily life. The strength, toughness and biocompatibility of spider silk for protective clothing or biomedical applications, the aerodynamic body shape of the box fish for a fuel-efficient concept car or the fog-catching surface on the Namibian beetle for effective water harvesting are only a few amazing examples of such biologically inspired approaches.<br /><br />In this blog, we want to introduce you to an actually new example of fascinating natural concepts: the skin patterns of springtails. Springtails, also known as Collembola, are wingless soil-arthropods that form a sister group of insects in the hexapod clade. Differing from insects, which breathe using tubes called trachea, the most springtail species respire directly through their skin. To prevent suffocating in wet conditions, the springtail skin has to possess a barrier against complete wetting, which would inevitably block the gas exchange. Concerning this matter, springtails have evolved an extraordinary skin surface that repels a variety of liquids with remarkable efficiency.
Citation (2013) blog

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