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SEM of tarsal claw of horsefly

A SEM image of the tarsal claw of the horsefly <em>Tabanus sulcifrons</em>

This scanning electron microscope (SEM) image of the tarsal claw of the horsefly (Tabanus sulcifrons) juxtaposes the complexity and simplicity of "nature's Velcro." The menacing sturdiness of the tarsal claws contrasts with the delicate nature of the tarsal pad, with fine, hooked hairs that allow the fly to hold on to animal fur.

This image was among the entries in the "Envisioning the Invisible" 2010 Mahato memorial event photo contest, organized by the engineering graduate student council at the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University. The event, which will be annual, honors Abhijit Mahato, a former Duke engineering graduate student who was tragically murdered in 2008. Further information about the contest and pictures of other winning entries and submissions is available Here. (Date of Image: December 2008) [See related image Here.]

Credit: Valerie A. Tornini, Duke University

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