Gecko’s Toes Use Atomic Forces

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Gecko’s toes use atomic forces according to a report in Nature, Vol. 405, p681 8 June 2000. Geckos are small tropical reptiles whose ability to walk up walls and across ceilings has previously defied all attempts to explain how they could stick to any surface with no sign of any glue or suction mechanism to hold them on. A group of biologists and engineers studied the microscopic hairs on gecko toes and found the ends of the hairs directly attach to molecules in the walking surface by van der Waal’s force, a type of attraction between atoms. The scientists end their report with the comment that engineering a structure like the gecko foot is "beyond the limits of human technology," but express the hope that the "natural technology of gecko foot-hairs can provide biological inspiration for future design of a remarkably effective adhesive."

Editorial Comment: If manufacturing gecko foot-hairs is beyond intelligent human engineers, it is certainly beyond blind, ignorant chance. The more we look into the precision engineering found in living things the more we are reminded of the Apostle Paul’s warning that human beings who study the created world are without excuse for ignoring the Creator. (Romans 1:20) (Ref. Gecko, design, van der Waals)

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