Volume 16 | Issue 13 | 24 | Jun. 24, 2002

Nature's Own Version of Superglue

Understanding how insect feet adhere to slippery, wet surfaces has been a centuries-long quest | By Leslie Pray

Image: Courtesy of Isle of Wight History Centre
 A close-up picture of the common fly.

"The foot of a fly is a most admirable and curious contrivance, for by this the flies are enabled to walk against the sides of glass, perpendicularly upwards, and to contain themselves in that posture long as they please; nay, to walk and suspend themselves against the undersurface of many bodies, as the ceiling of a room, or the like ... its mechanism consists principally of two parts, that is, first its two claws, or tallons, and secondly, two palms ..." 1
Robert Hooke, 1664

Image: Courtesy of Isle of Wight History Centre

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