Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Right Angles Are All Wrong For Tree Frog Adhesion

Date:
April 6, 2007
Source:
Society for Experimental Biology
Summary:
Tree frogs have the unique ability to stick to smooth surfaces even when they are tilted well beyond the vertical -- some small tree frogs can even adhere when completely upside down. Conversely when walking or jumping they can detach their toe pads easily.

Tree frog.
Credit: Julia Platter

Tree frogs have the unique ability to stick to smooth surfaces even when they are tilted well beyond the vertical - some small tree frogs can even adhere when completely upside down. Conversely when walking or jumping they can detach their toe pads easily. Researchers from the University of Glasgow presented insights into how this fascinating ability is controlled at the Society for Experimental Biology's Annual Meeting in Glasgow, UK.

"The toe pads of tree frogs are coated with a thin mucus which adhere to surfaces by wet adhesion, like wet tissue paper sticking to glass. The process by which they detach their toe pads is called peeling and is akin to us removing a sticking plaster from ourselves," explains Dr Jon Barnes, head of the research group, "We were keen to understand why a tree frog on an overhanging surface didn't simply peel off rather than adhere."

To investigate this, scientists measured adhesive and frictional forces simultaneously on individual toe pads of White's tree frogs (Family Hylidae), while varying the surface angle. It was found that the change from adhesion to peeling is a gradual process, with adhesive forces weakening at angles above 90.

Thus frogs maintain a grip by keeping the angle of their toes with respect to a surface at a low value, and detach when this angle increases beyond 90. By examining the behaviour of the frogs researchers were able to correlate this observation with how the animals positioned their legs - they spread their legs out sideways to minimise the angle between their feet and the surface.

The researchers also visited Trinidad to address the problem faced by larger tree frogs, who do not adhere to surfaces very well. To partially compensate for this, larger frogs have adapted to grasp objects, and can climb in a similar manner to humans. Thus the largest species of tree frog are often found higher up in trees, while smaller species are commonly found in shrubs only a metre or so above the ground.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Experimental Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for Experimental Biology. "Right Angles Are All Wrong For Tree Frog Adhesion." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 April 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070402102033.htm>.
Society for Experimental Biology. (2007, April 6). Right Angles Are All Wrong For Tree Frog Adhesion. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070402102033.htm
Society for Experimental Biology. "Right Angles Are All Wrong For Tree Frog Adhesion." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070402102033.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins