قالب وردپرس درنا توس
Home / Science / Mystery of how geckos walk on water solved by scientists

Mystery of how geckos walk on water solved by scientists



Geckos have been observed running through the surface of the water in a major undertaking that is not found in any other animal of their size.

Lizards use a unique combination of adaptations to not sink, including water-repellent skin. [19659003] Already known to have walked up the walls and even to glide in the air, the ability confirms the reputation of the geckos as "superheroes" of the reptile world, according to the scientists who study them.


Dr Jasmine Nirody, a biophysicist at the University of Oxford, has decided to investigate their abilities after a tip on the unusual behavior of a fellow researcher.

previously documented in some other animals, especially the basilisk or "Jesus Christ" lizard, which is able to run on its hind legs across the surface.

Even tiny animals like spiders walk on water, relying on its surface tension to prevent their small bodies from getting wet.

However, skill had never been observed in medium-sized creatures lacking both the small size and the strength to keep them from sinking. [19659002LasituationisexchangedwhenDrandDryNorthyAntiCaliforniaBerkeleyhacatturatofilmatisulsuonphonodechanicalproductsandallapagecapitalAnswapthroughstagewidth

High-speed video was able to capture the movements used by geckos as they traversed the surface of the water (Cell Press)

The dr. Nirody and his colleagues were "swept away" from the video, thinking that an animal the size of this gecko was not able to push himself along the water.

To investigate further, the scientists grabbed some of these geckos, which originate from South Asia, and proceeded to test their skills in a pool of water.

Through a series of experiments and high-speed video, they discovered that the lizards used a number of techniques to avoid sinking.

Surface tension has proved to be vital for small lizards, as the addition of soap to the reservoir – which interrupts this tension – has made it much more difficult to move them in the water.

However, they also used the powerful slap of the legs seen in their cousins ​​of basilisk lizard to create pockets of air that prevented them from diving.

The geckos were further helped by the water repellent skin and the rapid blows of their tails that pushed them forward.

"The geckos have this extraordinary superhydrophobic skin that repels water and improves their ability to stay above the surface," said dr. Nirody.

"So in addition to surface tensions and the slap, they have their own special make-up."


Support journalism of free thought and enroll in Independent Minds

All these results have been published in the journal Current Biology .

Because moving through the air is easier than moving in the water, running on the surface is probably an effective strategy to escape even fast swimming predators.

"They can run at one meter per second on water, nothing else can do it, the geckos are superheroes," said Professor Robert Full, a researcher at the University of California, Berkeley and senior author of the document.

Scientists have suggested that their findings may one day be used to develop robots that mimic the skills of geckos. [19659151]
Source link