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Magic Toes | by jurvetson
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Magic Toes

Found a clutch of these cute little fellows up inside a yellow street lamp, a great place to catch insects navigating by the moon.


I first heard about the gecko’s amazing toes from Polypedal Prof. Full at TED. They can hang from perfectly smooth glass, wet or dry, and support their body weight with one toe touching. But the toes are not sticky; they can also climb those surfaces at a meter per second.


The nanostructured hairs at the tip of the gecko’s toes exploit the weak Van der Waals bonds at the molecular scale. It’s geometry, not surface chemistry that gives them adhesion... and inspires new designs for glue. (more info)

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Taken on June 19, 2007