Gecko's Sticky Secret: A Lot Of Toe Hair

August 12, 2014 8:22 PM

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Scientists are finally beginning to get a better picture of what enables the gecko’s superhero-like ability to go just about anywhere, including a run across the ceiling, with impressive agility and speed.

The key, according to researchers at Oregon State University (OSU), is a system of branched hairs on the lizards’ toes and the ability to turn their “stickiness” on or off. The tiny hairs, called “seta” are able to take advantage of what’s called Van der Waals weak atomistic level forces.

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