Watch: Inside a Flying Insect

The blowfly’s wings can flap at the incredible speed of 150 times per second, but how does an insect that’s no bigger than a penny manage to pull off such a feat? To visualize the intricate muscles of Calliphora vicina, researchers developed a CT-scanning technique that captures the inner workings of the insect’s muscles while flying, National Geographic reports. The technique, reported this week in PLOS Biology, opens up the door for researchers to learn more about how the blowfly controls its sophisticated flight engine and how its muscles, some of which are as thin as a human hair, trigger each wingbeat.

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