How do lizards walk upside down?
Many lizards, such as geckos and skinks, can walk upside down and climb up walls. They have special toe pads that can support their weight.
Their toe pads have microscopic hairs or bristles, called setae, that act like Velcro, enabling their feet to stick to surfaces.
On each of the setae are millions of even smaller tips, called septulae. Each one can grip the surface.
In fact, setae and septulae are able to support the weight equivalent to a human adult, so even large lizards can walk upside down.
If the surface is dry, lizards can maintain their grip. If the surface is smooth and wet (like wet glass), lizards cannot grip as easily. However, in nature, lizards can easily walk upside down on tree limbs, logs, and most surfaces.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM