Photo: How do tree frogs stick to trees?

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Talk about treehuggers!

Photographer Andreas Kay calls this exuberantly-toed critter a member of Agalychnis hulli and writes that the photo was shot in the Amazon rainforest near Puyo, Ecuador.

And while this tree frog is exceptionally cute, this is a story of toes. Unlike the dry grip of gecko's feet, the toepads of tree frogs are covered by tightly packed "nanopillars," each with a small dimple in the end, which create strong friction against the surfaces they contact, according to Scientific American. "The nanopillars and larger structures on the toe pads come in direct contact with surfaces," notes the magazine. "As a result, the small amount of wet mucus between these protrusions provides adhesive forces." Researchers believe that understanding the adhesive properties of frog feet could lead to better tire design, and perhaps even a nonslip shoe. Thanks, frogs!

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