Butterfly Pullinator

One morning we helped out the butterfly lab whip up a quick working instrument to help measure the pull strength of heliconius butterfly legs (for WAYYYY cheaper than scientific devices you can buy)!

The Pullinator is a device used to determine a butterfly’s strength by measuring how much weight they can pull. Our PhD student, Jessie, uses it to study muscle deterioration in butterflies as they age. Cool, right? But the best thing about The Pullinator is how it got made!

From their lab instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/CcrLzgCr_6b/
“It all started with Andrew K Davis et al paper where they measured grip strength in monarchs using a force gauge. As Jessie proceeded to search where to buy such device, her engineer Uncle asked, “why not build it yourself?”
She began this operation by consulting the amazing @digital.naturalism.labs who successfully brought it to life! Later, Ernesto Bonadies from @biologickecentrumavcr suggested using sandpaper to standardize the friction of the gripping area as it has a defined numerical scale. Finally, the name and beautiful typescript came from our PhD student, Laura Hebberecht.”

This amazing device is just one example of the incredible things we can create when we use our creativity, intellect and most importantly, our collaborative spirit.