Sticky situations: big and small animals with sticky feet

By Travis Hagey, Michigan State University

Type of Resource Class activity
Topic Allometry and shape
Taxa Vertebrate
Organizational Level Organismal
Estimated time to do activity 30 min 
Background required/level advanced high school to into undergrad 
Role of activity in your course The activity helps students lean about allometry and adhesion by directly working with real published data.  
What students might learn from this course or activity allometry, adaptation, adhesive toe pads, plotting data on log plots, and forming, testing, and reviewing hypotheses.  
Miscellaneous advice - pitfalls to avoid please provide feedback on the Data Nuggets website so that we can continue to improve the activity. 
Description Sticky, or adhesive, toe pads have evolved in many different kinds of animals, including insects, arachnids, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. The heavier the animal, the more adhesion they will need to stick and support their mass. For tiny species like mites and flies, tiny toes can do the job. Each fly toe only has to be able to support a small amount of weight. But when looking at larger animals like geckos, their increased weight means they need much larger toe pads to support them. 
Associated Files