The Gecko

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A gecko lizard can climb up a vertical pane of glass with the help of neither a foothold nor a sticky secretion. In fact, a gecko can hang from a glass ceiling by one toe! How…? Give up? It does it via millions of tiny, hair-like projections called seta on its toes which are so small that they can approach the molecules of glass closely enough for chemical forces called Van der Waal’s forces to take effect. That is REALLY close! These forces create a partial difference in charge between the gecko’s toe and the glass molecules. These partial charges are not permanent, and the gecko can unstuck its foot very quickly by simply manipulating it at the right angle. “It’s freaky but it’s a fact: gecko lizards’ hairy feet help them achieve – er – highness on a pane of glass!” 

Sources:

Animal Planet.

Hill, T.; Mcreary, J.; Petrucci, R and Perry, S., 2002. General Chemistry. 4th edition. New Jersey, Pearson Prentice Hall 

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