Scientists at the University of Oxford in the U.K. have developed a CT scanning technique that lets them view the inner workings of insects' muscles while in flight.
"The blowfly's flight mechanism is among the most complex in all of nature," said Oxford associate professor Graham Taylor. "It moves incredibly fast and works on a very small scale. The fly controls its flight using muscles that in some cases are as thin as a human hair. So it presented a real challenge to view and understand."
For a blowfly, like most flying insects, the main muscles that move its wings don't attach directly to the wings. Instead, they attach to the inside walls of the thorax. Two sets of abdominal muscles