WHY CAN’T GECKOS GET A GRIP ON?

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Lizards are extremely sticky- but what can’t they get a grip on?

Geckos may be famously sticky, but here’s what stumps them…..

What makes gecko feet stick are tiny hairlike structures on their toe pads called setae. These setae are divided at the tip into millions of nanoscale structures called spatulae.

The spatulae exert an attraction betwen neutral molecules called van der waals force. Usually it’s very weak, but the number of spatulae puts the foot in superclose contact with surfaces, giving them dry adhesion.

But there’s more to their sticking power. Gecko foot tendons, which are attatched to their skin, “stiffen the feet at contact and allow even distribution of forces,” thus providing the real strength of the gecko feet.

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