Geckos are renowned for their acrobatic feats on land and in the air, but a new discovery that they can also run on water puts them in the superhero category.
With their maneuverability on land, in the air and on water, geckos are like superheroes, says a University of California, Berkeley biologist.
The four techniques geckos use to skitter over the water’s surface: planing, like a speed boat; support from surface tension; slapping and dragging the water; and propulsion with the tail. Image credit PolyPEDAL lab graphic, UC Berkeley
Animals use a variety of techniques to remain above water. Lighter animals, mostly insects, are supported by surface tension alone. Heavier animals can produce enough force with their feet or tails to keep above water. But geckos are in between, using both techniques. Image credit PolyPEDAL lab graphic, UC Berkeley