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Body resists soil adhesion: dung beetle


Dung beetle working on pile / Craig / LicenseCC-by-nc-nd - Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives

Body of the dung beetle reduces soil ahesion via non-smooth surface morphology.

"The adhesion forces of soil, which exist when soil is in contact with a solid interface, often make troubles for soil engaging components of vehicles and machines, such as earthmovers, excavator-buckets and bulldozers, and result in the fall of power output. However, the phenomena of soil adhesion disappear when soil-burrowing animals move in soil. Soil animals' such excellent ability of anti-adhesion is partly resulted from their non-smoothness surface morphologies [5], for example, the morphological body surface of dung beetle is of non-smoothness or roughness in micro scales, as shown in Figure 1." (Collins 2004:218)
About the inspiring organism
Med_2587710336_0ec2c0b777_b Scarabaeoidea

Learn more at
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist

Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: Plows, shovels, and other earth-digging equipment that don't cake up with dirt. Tires that resist mud adhesion. Construction boots, hiking boots, work boots for muddy or dirty areas. Cross-training running shoes that resist caked on mud. Clothing accessories that repel dirt.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Sports, construction, textiles, automotive

Collins, M. 2004. Design and nature II: comparing design in nature with science and engineering. Southampton: WIT.
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Ren, L; Deng, S; Wang, J; Han, Z. 2004. Design principles of the non-smooth surface of bionic plow moldboard. Journal of Bionics Engineering. 1(1): 9-19.
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over 6 years ago
Great example of Life's Principle "Fitting form to function" Has bumps all over body to prevent mud and manure from clinging to it. It has been mimicked in a bulldozer (!) to reduce the time lost cleaning equipment. Needs to have bumps to stay clean.
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