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Wonders of Creation - Gecko Feet

How does a gecko manage to walk on a ceiling, or across a sheet of smooth plastic? Do they have tiny hooks on their feet? No. Do they use small suction caps? No. Do they squirt something sticky from their toes? No. Do they use a static charge? No. They have dry feet, yet their toes stick fast to whatever surface they walk over ? even polished glass.

The Scientific American magazine, January 2004, ran a small item about gecko's feet, and pointed out that the feet have millions of microscopic hairs, called setae. Each setae is just the head of an even smaller array of nanostructures, called spatulae, which are so small in fact, that they make contact with the molecules of the surface they are placed on top of. A gecko may have about 6.5 million setae, and if all of them were in touch with a surface the gecko could lift 133 kilograms!

Why is the gecko's foot equipped with so much weight-bearing potential, when its body is so small and light? It never needs to hold colossal weights so why would it have the potential to do this? Because it walks over some rough surfaces, and does not always make contact with the whole area of the terrain it touches its feet against. The small area which does make contact is sufficient, and the area which misses the surface is . . .

How does a gecko manage to walk on a ceiling, or across a sheet of smooth plastic? Do they have tiny hooks on their feet? No. Do they use small suction caps? No. Do they squirt something sticky from their toes? No. Do they use a static charge? No. They have dry feet, yet their toes stick fast to whatever surface they walk over ? even polished glass.

The Scientific American magazine, January 2004, ran a small item about gecko's feet, and pointed out that the feet have millions of microscopic hairs, called setae. Each setae is just the head of an even smaller array of nanostructures, called spatulae, which are so small in fact, that they make contact with the molecules of the surface they are placed on top of. A gecko may have about 6.5 million setae, and if all of them were in touch with a surface the gecko could lift 133 kilograms!

Why is the gecko's foot equipped with so much weight-bearing potential, when its body is so small and light? It never needs to hold colossal weights so why would it have the potential to do this? Because it walks over some rough surfaces, and does not always make contact with the whole area of the terrain it touches its feet against. The small area which does make contact is sufficient, and the area which misses the surface is not needed.

Some scientists have been studying the molecular adhesion principle with a view to developing synthetic materials that mimic it, but so far the technology has eluded them. There is no material available which can be split so finely up to 1000 times. It is, as yet, impossible to produce a nanostructure that small, yet the gecko has already managed it. Without needing to consult a technical manual, the gecko grows its feet perfectly every time, yet Man, with all his science and learning, cannot construct even one toe with such perfect miniaturization.

The gecko also has the ability to remove its feet from a surface. It simply peels the foot away at 30 degrees, and it does this in 15 miliseconds. The method is purely mechanical. At 30 degrees the setal shafts act like levers to peel the spatulae away from the surface ? if the gecko tried to simply lift its foot straight off it could not.

You may wonder why, if the gecko's feet are so good at attracting things, they don't end up covered in dust? The answer is, they have a built in feature which causes them to self-clean. This feature is not yet fully understood.

The Creation magazine, December 2000, also ran an article on gecko's feet, but unlike the secular (S.A.) magazine, it attributed the design of the feet to a Creator. While many secular scientists do not allow the origin of what appears to be intelligent design into their thinking, if the gecko's feet were not constructed by an intelligent designer, how did they arise? Evolutionist might say that the gecko's feet gradually developed, but even if they were partially formed, they would not be an advantage to the animal until they were fully functional, so ?natural selection? would automatically remove any geckos with half-formed feet. The one logical option left to us is the Biblical answer ? God created geckos.

Richard Gunther, Copyright 2005