A species of parasitic wasp has evolved a drill for boring into fruit and injecting its eggs into larvae within.
The cool part?
The drill is edged with zinc. Yes, the metal, zinc.
Researchers think that this wasp's peculiar and effective drill could improve the design of microsurgery tools!
The research team used electron microscopy to examine the anatomy of the wasp's appendage, which looks remarkably like a drill bit with teeth. Each little serrated tooth structure is lined with zinc, providing it with an ever-sharp edge. In other words, this wasp is the real-world version of the comic book action hero Wolverine (a mutant with metal claws). Of course, in X-Men, Wolverine's claws used to be mere bone before scientists coated his skeleton in metal. This wasp needed no such human intervention!
A team from the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore found that wasps' fruit-drilling and egg-laying tool - which is thinner than a human hair - has teeth enriched with zinc.