According to an article published in the open-access journal PLoS ONE, temperature and humidity affect the adhesion capability of geckos. The researchers, from the University of Akron, Akron, Ohio, found that the clinging ability at 12 Celsius was about two times the clinging ability at 34 Celsius.

Lead author and professor of biology Dr. Peter Niewiarowski said that, "We tested the effect of temperature and humidity on the ability of geckos to stick to glass, expecting that neither would have a major role. Surprisingly, we found that both temperature and humidity variation affect their ability to cling to glass."

The researchers' experiments demonstrated that geckos were found to stick with twice the force in very humid conditions than they would in dry conditions with low temperatures. "At high temperatures, geckos stick comparatively poorly and the humidity level is less important. Previous work by other labs using isolated setae suggested that clinging ability should be insensitive to variation in both temperature and humidity. Our work with live geckos indicates a need to further explore the role of temperature and humidity on adhesion to different surfaces in both natural (geckos) and synthetic materials."

Sticky Gecko Feet: The Role of Temperature and Humidity
Niewiarowski PH, Lopez S, Ge L, Hagan E, Dhinojwala A
PLoS ONE (2008). 3(5): e2192.
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About PLoS ONE

PLoS ONE is the first journal of primary research from all areas of science to employ both pre- and post-publication peer review to maximize the impact of every report it publishes. PLoS ONE is published by the Public Library of Science (PLoS), the open-access publisher whose goal is to make the world's scientific and medical literature a public resource.

About the Public Library of Science

The Public Library of Science (PLoS) is a non-profit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world's scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource. For more information, visit plos

: Peter M Crosta

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