Why do gecko tails hop around when they drop off?
Posted by Stephen
Here is a great article from Wired.com and shows tbe potential of video analysis in science. It’s a great topic for Indonesia, too!
Here’s a quote from researcher Anthony Russell of the University of Calgary, trying to explain the randomness of the tail movements:
“The tail is buying the animal that shed it some time to get away,” Russell said. If the tail simply moved rhythmically back and forth, predators would quickly recognize a pattern and realize they’d been duped. Unpredictable tail movements keep predators occupied longer, and in some cases, they may even allow the tail itself to escape.
“Leopard geckos store fat in their tail, and a lot of their resources are tied up in there,” Russell said. “The tail may move far enough away that it actually evades the predator, so that the owner can come back and eat its own tail to recoup some of the resources.”
If you want more, head on over to Wired for the full article.
Think about how this topic relates to Option E: Neurobiology and Behaviour.
How could this research lead to progress in treating spinal injuries?
And take care not to tread on a gecko on the way home…