Sunday, 23 December 2012

Cut Here: Gecko Tails Rip Off Along 'Precut' Line

Like a pair of Velcro stripper pants, gecko tails come off easy. The lizards have pre-formed score lines in their tail that allow them to quickly rip off their tails when a predator has grabbed it, according to a new study.

The gecko tails, which were described Wednesday (Dec. 19) in the journal PLoS One, essentially stick to the body of the animals with adhesive forces.

"The tail contains 'score lines' at distinct horizontal fracture planes where the tail may be released as a response to predation," the authors wrote in the article. "These scores penetrate all the way through the tissue where the structural integrity is maintained by adhesion forces."

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