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News From the Field
Gecko's 'Active' Tail Key to Preventing Falls and Aerial Maneuvers

March 17, 2008

a flat-tailed house gecko While recent research has focused on geckos' toes as the key to climbing walls and hanging from ceilings, University of California-Berkeley biologists have found that their tails play a critical role in preventing falls after a slip. The tail prevents pitch-back while the gecko regains traction. Unlike cats, which don't need their tail to right themselves in midair, geckos also rely on their tails to rotate face down and then maneuver to a secure perch. Full Story

University of California - Berkeley

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2015, its budget is $7.3 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 48,000 competitive proposals for funding, and makes about 11,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

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