How do Geckos Stick to Walls?
Geckos are fascinating creatures, capable of performing incredible feats such as running up walls and even walking upside down on the ceiling! But how do they manage to pull off such incredible acts of acrobatics? The answer lies in their feet!
Geckos have some of the most unique feet in the animal kingdom. On the underside of their toes are millions of microscopic hairs which are covered in even tinier spatula-shaped structures. These unique structures enable the gecko to stick to almost any surface – even glass!
Van Der Waals Forces
The relationship between the gecko’s feet and the surface is complicated chemically. The tiny structures on the gecko’s toes form weak bonds known as Van Der Waals forces with the molecules on the surface that the gecko is trying to stick to.
These Van Der Waals forces allow the gecko to generate an adhesive strength capable of supporting up to 20 times the gecko’s bodyweight! This incredible strength enables the gecko to perform remarkable feats of acrobatics.
The gecko is also able to easily let go of its secure grasp on the surface. This is due to the structure of their feet, which can be released with just a flex of the toes.
This unique combination of adhesive strength and easy toe release makes geckos some of the most unique and interesting animals in the world.
Some Interesting Facts About Gecko’s Adhesion
- Geckos can stick to almost any surface. From glass, to wood, to plastic, the gecko is capable of attaching itself securely to almost any surface.
- The force generated by a gecko’s feet is equal to the weight of a piece of paper. Even with this miniscule force, the gecko is capable of supporting up to 20 times its bodyweight.
- The adhesive force of a gecko’s foot pad is more powerful than a magnet. In fact, the force generated by the Van Der Waals is so strong that it can even blunt the sharpest of blades!
Geckos are truly one of nature’s magnificent creatures! From their incredible feats of acrobatics to their remarkable adhesive feet, geckos are truly fascinating to observe.