Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Leaping lizards: Research tests the limits of gecko adhesion

June 27, 2017

Many geckos inhabit trees, often living high in the canopy. Relying on their incredible adhesive strength to help them break their fall, they jump from trees, and land on either leaves or relatively smooth tree trunks. How they withstand these impacts and what forces are imposed on the toepads of such falling/jumping geckos is not well understood, and could be critical to understanding the phenomenal adhesive power that these lizards exhibit.

A team of researchers led by a biologist at the University of California, Riverside now reports in the Royal Society Interface journal that the gecko adhesive system may reach its functional limits in extreme situations, such as when a gecko—seeking, for example, to escape a predator— falls/jumps from the canopy of a rainforest.


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