Integrative biology of sticky feet in geckos

Geckos have gained ecological access to novel microhabitats by exploiting intermolecular van der Waals forces, which allow them to climb smooth vertical surfaces. They use microscopic surface-based phenomena to thrive in a macroscopic mass- and kinetic energy-based world. Here we detail this as a premier example of integrative biology, spanning seven orders of magnitude and a lot of interesting biology. Emergent properties arising from molecular adhesion include several adaptive radiations that have produced a great diversity of geckos worldwide.

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