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Mighty Mouthparts

Erica McAlister unravels the mystery of the hawkmoth’s tongue, whose varying length has offered the simplest and most effective proof of natural selection in action.

Dr Erica McAlister of London's Natural History Museum takes a look at some of the entomological pioneers, whose groundbreaking observations and experiments have led to some truly innovative developments.

She unravels the mystery of the hawkmoth’s tongue , whose length has offered the simplest and most effective proof of Charles Darwin's theory of Natural Selection in action - and is now inspiring bioengineers in the development of medical nanoprobes

With contributions from Prof. Jim Endersby, historian of science at the University of Sussex; Ian Kitching, entomologist at the Natural History Museum; Prof. Peter Adler, Clemson University

Producer: Adrian Washbourne

Available now

14 minutes