joe rojas-burke

science journalist @rojasburke

October 29, 2013 at 5:35pm
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The blood-sucking mouth parts of the tick species Ixodes ricinus.

With cinematography, scanning-electron and confocal microscopy, we recorded and interpreted the insertion events of the tick’s mouthparts. Initially, the paired telescoping chelicerae pierce the skin and, by moving alternately, generate a toehold.  Subsequently, a breaststroke-like motion, effected by simultaneous flexure and retraction of both chelicerae, pulls in the barbed hypostome. The ratchet-like motility of their flexible chelicerae allows Ixodes ticks to dynamically penetrate the soft substrate of the host’s skin and use their rigid hypostome for robust static attachment.

Source: Dania Richter, Technical University of Braunschweig / Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

The blood-sucking mouth parts of the tick species Ixodes ricinus.

With cinematography, scanning-electron and confocal microscopy, we recorded and interpreted the insertion events of the tick’s mouthparts. Initially, the paired telescoping chelicerae pierce the skin and, by moving alternately, generate a toehold.  Subsequently, a breaststroke-like motion, effected by simultaneous flexure and retraction of both chelicerae, pulls in the barbed hypostome. The ratchet-like motility of their flexible chelicerae allows Ixodes ticks to dynamically penetrate the soft substrate of the host’s skin and use their rigid hypostome for robust static attachment.

Source: Dania Richter, Technical University of Braunschweig / Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

Notes

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    This is stunning. Insects continue to amaze and disgust me simultaneously.
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