Light-transmitting fibersVenus flower basket
The glass-like fibers of a glass sponge transmit light better than our fiber optics, yet are made from natural materials and at ambient temperatures.
Respiratory system facilitates efficient gas exchangeBirds
The respiratory system of birds facilitates efficient exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen via continuous unidirectional airflow and air sacs
Powdery wax allows for efficient waste removalPoplar spiral gall aphid
Powdery wax secreted by aphids makes sticky honeydew waste manageable by coating it and creating non-stick “liquid marbles.”
Tornado-like spinning increases seed dispersionJapanese Maple
The leading edge of the tornado-like spinning maple seed provides a constant lift force, allowing seeds to disperse over a greater area.
Asymmetric burrow openings create passive ventilationprairie dog
Differences in position and shape of burrow openings of black-tailed prairie dogs create passive ventilation from wind energy by altering air pressure.
Web directs continuous water collectioncribellate spiders
The web of spiders that produce cribellate silk directs continuous water collection due to varied roughness and shape.
Trees absorb water from clouds
Trees in tropical montane cloud forests cope with the dry season using leaves that absorb water from clouds.
Fluorophores enhance photosynthesisdwarf mountain pine
The cuticular wax of the dwarf mountain pine enhances photosynthesis by using fluorophores that convert UV light into blue light that can be used for photosynthesis under low-light conditions.
Fur absorbs infrared radiation to prevent heat losspolar bear
Guard hairs on the polar bear prevent heat loss by absorbing heat in the form of infrared radiation.
Hairy hind legs carry variously-sized pollenMining bees
Hairy hind legs on bees can carry a variety of pollen sizes by mixing pollen grains with liquid.