Why do in­sects never loose their foot­ing?

iD magazine - - Smarter In 60 Seconds -

In­sects pos­sess an en­doge­nous ad­he­sive that lets them walk ver­ti­cally along smooth sur­faces. The bot­toms of their feet se­crete the sub­stance, which fills in the mi­cro­scop­i­cally small ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in the sur­face. For good measure, even the tini­est hairs on the bot­tom of their feet hook onto these un­even ar­eas. If they want to con­tinue walk­ing, they must loosen their feet slowly, like sep­a­rat­ing a Vel­cro fas­tener. The ad­he­sive’s chem­i­cal com­po­si­tion en­ables it to be ap­plied again and again.

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