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FUNCTION OF FEET IN ASCENDING AND DESCENDING GECKOS. K. Autumn, S.T. Hsieh*, D.M.
 

Summary: FUNCTION OF FEET IN ASCENDING AND
DESCENDING GECKOS. K. Autumn, S.T. Hsieh*, D.M.
Dudek, J. Chen, C. Chitaphan, and R.J. Full. Univ. of
California, Berkeley.
Kinematics of geckos (Hemidactylus garnoti) rapidly
ascending a vertical surface showed periods during which
only a single foot was in contact with the surface. During
descent geckos can have all 4 feet out of contact with the
surface at once. To reveal the mechanisms underlying the
ascending and descending ability, we measured single-leg
forces of animals running up and down a vertical track that
contained a force platform. During ascent, the front legs
pulled toward, while hind legs pushed away from the
vertical surface, generating a net moment pitching the
anterior toward the surface. Differential leg function
counteracts the tendency of the anterior to rotate away
from the surface. During descent hind legs primarily
absorbed energy, reducing speed, whereas front legs
appeared largely inactive. Kinematics of ascent showed that
front and rear toes are oriented in the direction of motion.

  

Source: Autumn, Kellar - Department of Biology, Lewis and Clark College

 

Collections: Engineering; Materials Science; Biology and Medicine