Species: Issus coleoptratus
Habitat: throughout western Europe, often hanging around on ivy plants
For a disconcerting experience, consider how mechanical you are. Humans may be conscious beings with higher feelings, but really we’re just fancy machines with joints, motors, valves, and a whole lot of plumbing.
All animals are the same. Hundreds of gizmos have evolved in nature, many of which our engineers merely reinvented. Nature had rotating axles billions of years ago, in the shape of bacterial flagella. And weevil legs beat us to the screw-and-nut mechanism.
The insect Issus coleoptratus is another animal with an unexpected bit of machinery hidden in its body. Its larvae are the first animals known to have interlocking gears, just like in the gearbox of a car.