80200731

4800x4800x300dpi – 40.64×40.64cm – 65.90M – 13,770 magnification
False colour SEM of detail of footpad of a Moorish Gecko (Family Gekkonidae, Latin name Tarentola mauritanica) The gecko is classed as a lizard and this particular species can reach lengths of more than 15cm from head to tail. This specimen is a youngster of just 4.5cm. The Moorish gecko is found mainly near coastal regions of the Mediterranean. It is usually nocturnal and can be seen lurking near to lighting waiting for the attracted insects. It can be active during the day in the cooler months, sometimes warming itself on a sunny rock or wall. Many buildings and homes in the Mediterranean have a resident gecko or two. It is rather brownish-grey in colour and has prominent tubercles on its flattish body. The tail, which is about the same length as the body, can be easily shed if the gecko is attacked by a predator. The tail will regrow but usually will not be as long as the original. Pads extend all along its toes and these pads have a profusion of microscopic hairs arranged in ridges which enable it to adhere to smooth surfaces and even run across ceilings.

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