Velvet Gecko (Amalosia lesueurii)

Variable color pattern and camouflage in four male velvet geckos (Amalosia lesueurii). Like many rock-dwelling reptiles, the velvet gecko hides between narrow crevices in rock layers. See my blog post on the endangered broad-headed snake (Hoplocephalus bungaroides) to read about how habitat degradation is leading to population declines of sandstone inhabitants.

Geckos have adhesive toepads consisting of thousands of microscopic hairs called setae – each seta composed of even smaller bristles. The flexible setae and bristles allow greater surface area to come into contact with the substrate, and van der Waals forces also play a role in enhancing the toepad’s adhesive capabilities. This adaptation for clinging on to surfaces has actually evolved over ten times independently in geckos. Check out Geckskin, a synthetic adhesive modeled after gecko toepads!




Juvenile velvet gecko




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