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The Story of the Tell-Tale Tail

Biologist Robert Full thought he was just teaching a bunch of engineers how gecko feet work so they could build a wall-climbing robot. Then the engineers reported back something strange. Their prototype didn’t work unless they gave it a tail. Then they asked Full a pretty straightforward question: what are gecko tails for, anyway? To Full’s surprise, he wasn’t quite sure, so he set out to investigate gecko tails, and discovered an entire universe of surprises, which he describes in this TED talk. [%comments]