Some geckos can use their tail as a ‘fifth foot’ to cling to walls

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gecko

The crested gecko (Correlophus ciliatus) has a sticky tail pad

Shutterstock / Sibons Photography

Geckos have an extraordinary ability to cling to smooth vertical surfaces thanks to special gripping toe pads. Less well known is that some geckos have another sticky pad underneath the tip of their tails – and a study shows it is comfortably strong enough to support the weight of the animal on its own.

Adhesive toe pads are the subject of much scientific interest, says Aaron Griffing at Marquette University in Wisconsin. But the tail pads are considerably less understood, although …

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