Current Gecko News and Events

Current Gecko News and Events, Gecko News Articles.
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Penned release of green geckos has potential to help preserve threatened native species
In a paper just published in the New Zealand Journal of Ecology, the Department of Zoology researchers outlined how they translocated 19 barking geckos to Mana Island, using the method of penned release - enclosing them in a 100m² pen for three months so they get used to the site and hopefully establish a breeding population. (2021-01-13)

To climb like a gecko, robots need toes
Researchers know the secret to geckos' ability to walk on the ceiling: their hairy toes. But how do they use their five toes per foot to adjust to gravity when running horizontally along walls. At UC Berkeley, biologists used high-speed cameras to record how geckos orient their toes with shifting weight, especially when encountering slippery or rough patches, and found a remarkable ability to adjust toe orientation to stick and peel while running full speed. (2020-05-08)

Surfaces that grip like gecko feet could be easily mass-produced
The science behind sticky gecko's feet lets gecko adhesion materials pick up about anything. But cost-effective mass production of the materials was out of reach until now. A new method of making them could usher the spread of gecko-inspired grabbers to assembly lines and homes. (2020-05-06)

Scientists discover bent-toed gecko species in Cambodia
A new species of bent-toed gecko (Cyrtodactylus phnomchiensis) has been described from Cambodia's Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary by Wild Earth Allies Biologist Thy Neang in collaboration with North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences' Herpetologist Bryan Stuart. 'It was an extremely unexpected discovery. No one thought there were undescribed species in Prey Lang,' said Neang. (2020-04-13)

Christmas Island discovery redraws map of life
The world's animal distribution map will need to be redrawn and textbooks updated, after researchers discovered the existence of 'Australian' species on Christmas Island. The University of Queensland's Professor Jonathan Aitchison said the finding revises the long-held understanding of the location of one of biology and geography's most significant barriers - the Wallace line. (2020-03-22)

Improving adhesives for wearable sensors
By conveniently and painlessly collecting data, wearable sensors create many new possibilities for keeping tabs on the body. In order to work, these devices need to stay next to the skin. In a study described in ACS Omega, researchers tweaked a widely used polymer to create a potential new adhesive to keep these sensors in place.   (2020-02-05)

A close look at a sticky situation
New research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) finds the missing link between soft surface adhesion and the roughness of the hard surface it touches. The key to this foundational discovery is a close look at the rough surface itself using an electron microscope. (2019-12-02)

Unique sticky particles formed by harnessing chaos
New research from North Carolina State University shows that unique materials with distinct properties akin to those of gecko feet - the ability to stick to just about any surface -- can be created by harnessing liquid-driven chaos to produce soft polymer microparticles with hierarchical branching on the micro- and nanoscale. (2019-10-14)

'Electroadhesive' stamp picks up and puts down microscopic structures
New technique could enable assembly of circuit boards and displays with more minute components. (2019-10-11)

T. rex used a stiff skull to eat its prey
A Tyrannosaurus rex could bite hard enough to shatter the bones of its prey. But how it accomplished this feat without breaking its own skull bones has baffled paleontologists. That's why scientists at the University of Missouri are arguing that the T. rex's skull was stiff much like the skulls of hyenas and crocodiles, and not flexible like snakes and birds as paleontologists previously thought. (2019-09-25)

Leaping larvae! How do they do that without legs?
'Hydrostatic legless jumping' launches a 3-millimeter maggot of a goldenrod gall midge 20-30 body-lengths away with acceleration rivalling the best legged leapers. The larva latches its head to its tail with a previously unknown adhesive and squeezes some internal fluids into its tail section for launch pressure. This style of flight is about 28 times more efficient than crawling, a finding that may intrigue soft robotics. (2019-08-08)

'Sneezing' plants contribute to disease proliferation
'''The jumping droplets, at the rate of 100 or more an hour, are a violent expulsion of dew from the surface. It's good for the plant because it is removing spores from itself, but it's bad because, like a human sneeze, the liquid droplets are finding their way onto neighboring plants. ' (2019-06-21)

Penn engineers demonstrate superstrong, reversible adhesive that works like snail slime
Snails can anchor themselves in place using a structure known as an epiphragm. The snail's slimy secretion works its way into the pores found on even seemingly smooth surfaces, then hardens, providing strong adhesion that can be reversed when the slime softens. Penn Engineers have developed a new material that works in a similar way. (2019-06-17)

Tiger geckos in Vietnam could be the next species sold into extinction, shows a new survey
While information about the conservation status of the tiger gecko species is largely missing, these Asian lizards are already particularly vulnerable to extinction. A study, published in the open-access journal Nature Conservation, provides an overview of their domestic and international trade with a focus on species native to Vietnam. By providing further knowledge about the species abundance and threats for the Vietnamese Cat Ba tiger gecko, the research team urges for strict conservation measures. (2019-04-01)

Groundbreaking new reusable adhesive works underwater
Illinois researchers have introduced a new cutting-edge reusable adhesive that activates in seconds, works underwater, and is strong enough to deadlift 11 pounds: shape memory polymers (SMPs). (2019-01-28)

Watch how geckos run across water
Geckos run across water at up to almost a meter a second using a unique mix of surface tension and slapping, say researchers reporting Dec. 6 in the journal Current Biology. They found that the mouse-sized lizards are too big to float on water using only surface tension, like insects, but too small to use only foot slapping, like basilisks. (2018-12-06)

Acrobatic geckos, highly maneuverable on land and in the air, can also race on water
Asian geckos were observed running over water at nearly a meter per second, as fast as on land. Lab experiments at UC Berkeley show how. They get support from surface tension but also slap the water rapidly with their feet. They also semi-plane over the surface and use their tail for stabilization and propulsion. They thus sit between insects, which use only surface tension, and larger animals, which run upright via foot slapping alone. (2018-12-06)

Study explains how geckos gracefully gallop on water
Geckos are amazingly agile. In addition to running across land and up trees, the animals can prance across the surface of water. A new study reveals how they do it. (2018-12-06)

Nanofiber carpet could lead to new sticky or insulating surfaces
Inspired by the extraordinary characteristics of polar bear fur, lotus leaves and gecko feet, engineering researchers have developed a new way to make arrays of nanofibers that could bring us coatings that are sticky, repellant, insulating or light emitting, among other possibilities. (2018-11-15)

Tiny light detectors work like gecko ears
By structuring nanowires in a way that mimics geckos' ears, researchers have found a way to record the incoming angle of light. This technology could have applications in robotic vision, photography and augmented reality. (2018-10-30)

Small flying robots haul heavy loads
Small flying robots can perch and move objects 40 times their weight with the help of powerful winches and two previous inventions -- gecko adhesives and microspines. (2018-10-24)

U of G study is first to find evidence that leopard geckos can make new brain cells
University of Guelph researchers have discovered the type of stem cell allowing geckos to create new brain cells. This finding provides evidence that lizards may also be able to regenerate parts of the brain after injury. (2018-07-27)

Should you share data of threatened species?
Scientists and conservationists have continually called for location data to be turned off in wildlife photos and publications to help preserve species but new research suggests there could be more to be gained by sharing a rare find, rather than obscuring it, in certain circumstances. Researchers have developed a framework -- considering a range of case studies including the 'world's largest bloom' giant flower Rafflesia in Southeast Asia and the elusive Australian night parrot. (2018-07-23)

Next-generation robotic cockroach can explore under water environments
In nature, cockroaches can survive underwater for up to 30 minutes. Now, a robotic cockroach can do even better. Harvard's Ambulatory Microrobot, known as HAMR, can walk on land, swim on the surface of water, and walk underwater for as long as necessary, opening up new environments for this little bot to explore. (2018-07-02)

Some like it hot!
Ecologists have no doubt that climate change will affect the earth's animals and plants. But how exactly? This is often hard to predict. There are already indications that some species are shifting their distribution range. But it is much less clear how individual animals and populations are responding to the changes. Scientists at the UFZ have been studying nocturnal desert geckos to see how they are adapting to climatic changes. (2018-05-24)

Scaling to new heights with gecko-inspired adhesive
Some animals, such as geckos, can easily climb up walls and across ceilings. But currently, no material exists that allows everyday people to scale walls or transverse ceilings as effortlessly. Now, scientists report in ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces a dry adhesive that could someday make it easier to defy gravity. (2018-01-10)

Gecko adhesion technology moves closer to industrial uses
While human-made devices inspired by gecko feet have emerged in recent years, enabling their wearers to slowly scale a glass wall, the possible applications of gecko-adhesion technology go far beyond Spiderman-esque antics. A Georgia Institute of Technology researcher is looking into how the technology could be applied in a high-precision industrial setting, such as in robot arms used in manufacturing computer chips. (2017-12-12)

University of Guelph study first to identify the cells driving gecko's ability to re-grow its tail
A U of G researcher has discovered the spinal cord of the gecko's tail houses a special type of stem cell known as the radial glia. When the tail detaches, these cells jump into action by proliferating and making different proteins in response to the injury. The result is a brand new spinal cord. This finding has implications for developing a way to treat humans with spinal cord injuries. (2017-11-02)

An evolving sticky situation
While many animals try to avoid sticky situations, lizards evolved to seek them out. Travis Hagey, Michigan State University evolutionary biologist, shows how different groups of lizards -- geckos and anoles -- took two completely different evolutionary paths to developing the beneficial trait of sticky toe pads. (2017-10-12)

Tree-climbing geckos that use narrower perches have longer limbs than expected
Tree-climbing geckos that use narrow perches have relatively longer limbs than comparisons with other tree-climbing lizards would suggest, according to a study published Sept. 27, 2017 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Travis Hagey from Michigan State University, US, and colleagues. (2017-09-27)

When it comes to the threat of extinction, size matters
Animals in the Goldilocks zone -- neither too big, nor too small, but just the right size -- face a lower risk of extinction than do those on both ends of the scale, according to an extensive global analysis. (2017-09-18)

How tails help geckos and other vertebrates make great strides
A wagging tail is often associated with dogs' emotions, but the side-to-side motion may also help them take longer strides and move faster, according to a study by researchers at the University of California, Riverside. The research was done on leopard geckos, which are ideal animals for the study of tail function because they naturally lose their tails as a defense mechanism against predators in a process called autotomy. (2017-09-07)

Mechanisms explaining positional diversity of the hindlimb in tetrapod evolution
Elucidating how body parts in their earliest recognizable form are assembled in tetrapods during development is essential for understanding the nature of morphological evolution. Nagoya University researchers found in eight tetrapod species that the position of the sacral vertebrae and the hindlimbs is determined by the initiation timing of Gdf11 gene expression. This will contribute to a forthcoming model explaining the coupling of spine and hindlimb positioning - a major step in fully understanding tetrapod evolution. (2017-08-18)

Skin-ditching gecko inexplicably leaves body armor behind when threatened
When trouble looms, the fish-scale geckos of Madagascar resort to what might seem like an extreme form of self-defense -- tearing out of their own skin. Now, new research shows the geckos' skin contains a hidden strength: bony deposits known as osteoderms, the same material that makes up the tough scales and plates of crocodilians and armadillos. But the presence of osteoderms in fish-scale geckos raises a herpetological mystery: If they have armor, why do they discard it? (2017-08-03)

Despite a great grip, geckos sometimes slip
A new theoretical study examines for the first time the limits of geckos' gripping ability in natural contexts. (2017-07-19)

Stanford engineers design a robotic gripper for cleaning up space debris
Researchers combined gecko-inspired adhesives and a custom robotic gripper to create a device for grabbing space debris. They tested their gripper in multiple zero gravity settings, including the International Space Station. (2017-06-28)

Leaping lizards!
Many geckos inhabit trees, often living high in the canopy. Relying on their incredible adhesive strength to help them break their fall, they jump from trees, and land on leaves or smooth tree trunks. A team of researchers led by a biologist at the University of California, Riverside now reports that the gecko adhesive system may reach its functional limits in extreme situations, such as when a gecko falls/jumps from the canopy of a rainforest. (2017-06-27)

Understanding predictability and randomness by digging in the dirt
When tilling soil, the blade of the tool cuts through dirt, loosening it in preparation for seeding. The dirt granules are pushed aside in a way that looks random -- but might not be. Now, researchers have found a way to distinguish whether such a process is truly random, or is actually deterministic -- which can lead to deeper understanding and the ability to control the process. They describe the analysis in the journal Chaos. (2017-03-28)

New species: Gecko with tear-away skin
Fish-scale geckos in the genus Geckolepis are able to lose their skin at the slightest touch. (2017-02-07)

A new species of gecko with massive scales and tear-away skin
Many lizards can drop their tails when grabbed, but one group of geckos has gone to particularly extreme lengths to escape predation. Fish-scale geckos in the genus Geckolepis have large scales that tear away with ease, leaving them free to escape whilst the predator is left with a mouth full of scales. Scientists have now described a new species (Geckolepis megalepis) that is the master of this art, possessing the largest scales of any gecko. (2017-02-07)

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