Diagram of the formation of the complex structure of dragonfly wings
Dragonflies are one of the best flight masters in all wildlife. Two pairs of large wings are formed by layers of durable and light chitin, the rigidity of which is attached by a network of tiny vessels (trachea) - both large, “primary”, filled with hemolymph, and small ones with overgrown lumen.
Their structure is subject to a general concept, although the details of the branching of the small veins of dragonfly wings are as unique as the fingerprints of our fingers.
In a recent paper, Chris Rycroft, a mathematician at Harvard University, and his colleagues explored the wings of 232 representatives of the dragonfly squad (Odonata) and showed that a complex geometric pattern of veins in their wings is formed in a simple four-step process. In an article published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists demonstrate how modeling all four steps allows you to get exactly the same patterns.
At the first stage, large primary veins germinate in predetermined directions, dividing the wing into several large areas. In each of them, a number of evenly distributed “growth inhibition centers” are distinguished - in a real wing, such a role can be played by cells or groups of cells that release substances that hinder the development of small vessels in their direction.
At the next stage, each of these “centers” becomes a node of the Voronoi mosaic - such a partition of the plane, that in each “tile” any point is closer to it than to any neighboring “center”. The secondary veins sprout along the edges of this mosaic. Finally, the wing grows in length, pulling the elements of the mosaic.
Interestingly, by specifying the dimensions, geometry, and other characteristics of the wings, scientists have successfully used such an algorithm to accurately model the network of veins of not only dragonflies, but also species quite distant from them, including grasshoppers. However, so far we are talking only about the mathematical model of a real biological process: scientists have yet to show that this is how it is realized in nature, and find out which cells and signaling substances are behind this.
But for you one of the biggest dragonflies in the world.This is a copy of the article located at http://masterokblog.ru/?p=12615.