Wet but Not Slippery: Boundary Friction in Tree Frog Adhesive Toe Pads
Sprache des Titels:
Tree frogs are remarkable for their capacity to cling to smooth surfaces using large toe pads. The adhesive skin of tree frog toe pads is characterized by peg-studded hexagonal cells separated by deep channels into which mucus glands open. The pads are completely wetted with watery mucus, which led previous authors to suggest that attachment is solely due to capillary and viscous forces generated by the fluid-filled joint between the pad and the substrate. Here, we present evidence from single-toe force measurements, laser tweezer microrheometry of pad mucus and interference reflection microscopy of the contact zone in Litoria caerulea, that tree frog attachment forces are significantly enhanced by close contacts and boundary friction between the pad epidermis and the substrate, facilitated by the highly regular pad microstructure.