Today’s Video of the Day from Cell Press reveals how geckos manage to zip across the water at a speed of nearly one meter per second.
Study first author Jasmine Nirody is a biophysicist at the University of Oxford and Rockefeller University.
“The gecko’s size places them in an intermediate regime – a middle ground,” explained Nirody. “They can’t generate enough force to run along the surface without sinking, so the fact they can run across water is really surprising.”
According to the experts, geckos execute this movement using a specialized mix of surface tension and foot slapping.
While insects are light enough to float on top of the water using surface tension, geckos are too heavy for this strategy. By incorporating the motion of foot slapping, they manage to stay afloat as they run across the water’s surface.
“Our new understanding of gecko locomotion could inspire design,” said Nirody. “Nature has so much to teach us. It’s built all these amazing machines to look at and learn from.”
The study is published in the journal Current Biology.
By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer
Video Credit: Cell Press