Saturday, June 14, 2014

Wasp Has Its Own Zinc-Tipped Drill Bit

A parasitic fig wasp comes naturally equipped with a zinc-tipped "drill bit," according to new research.

The useful tool-like system, complete with teeth for boring, is used to drill holes in hard, unripe fruit, according to the paper, which is published in the latest issue of the Journal of Experimental Biology.
Namrata Gundiah from the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore and graduate student Laksminath Kundanati made the surprising discovery while studying the parasitic fig wasp Apocryta westwoodi grandi.

Using scanning electron microscopy to take a high-resolution look at the insects' ovipositors, the researchers discovered that the end of these long, narrow appendages was made out of zinc.

"Zinc mainly increases the hardness, which will affect the wear resistance of the drill bits," explained Gundiah.

Source: Here

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