How geckos stick in nature: ecology and biomechanics of gecko feet

Hagey, T., Harte, S., Vickers, S., Harmon, L., and Schwarzkopf, L. (2014) How geckos stick in nature: ecology and biomechanics of gecko feet. Integrative and Comparative Biology, 54. 14.1. E82-E82.

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Phenotype and performance play a fundamental role in evolution and ecology. Studies of form and function often use correlations between morphology, performance, and habitat use to examine patterns of ecomorphology and morphological adaptation. Geckos, of the taxonomic group Gekkota, are an understudied yet diverse clade of lizards in which studies of form and function would greatly improve our understanding of their evolution. Geckos have the rather unique trait of adhesive toe pads, enabling them to use arboreal and rocky environments in a way few other creatures can. Gecko toe pad morphology and adhesive abilities are highly variable across species, suggesting ecological adaptations may have driven their evolution, yet few studies has considered gecko adhesive morphology and performance in an ecological context. In this study, we quantified morphology, adhesive performance, and habitat use of 13 gecko species from Queensland, Australia including tropical, arid, arboreal, and rock-dwelling species. We found toe detachment angle to be correlated with residual limb length. We also found residual limb length to be correlated with the use of arboreal and rock microhabitats as well as negatively correlated with perch diameter. This study is one of the first examples investigating gecko adhesive performance and specific microhabitat parameters. We suggest additional comparative studies investigating gecko limb kinematics and setal mechanics to corroborate our observational results.

Item ID: 37717
Item Type: Article (Abstract)
ISSN: 1557-7023
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Presented at SICB 2014: Annual Meeting of the Society for Integrative Biology, 3-7 January 2014, Austin, TX, USA and NWBS 2014: 10th Annual Northwest Biomechanics Symposium, 16-17 May 2014, Salem, OR, USA.

Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2017 23:44
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0606 Physiology > 060601 Animal Physiology - Biophysics @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960811 Sparseland, Permanent Grassland and Arid Zone Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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