If this is your first time to own a Tokay gecko, then most likely you have seen and observed some amazing and bizarre behaviors from your Tokays which sparked your curiosity. Each of these body languages or behaviors is usually indicative of something. This article will try to explain some of the common behaviors of Tokay geckos which will help you understand your Tokay geckos and help you become a better pet owner.
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Tokay geckos, the second largest among the gecko family, are such wonderful creatures. Aside from their aggressive behavior and very loud mating call there are a lot more amazing things that you can learn about these nocturnal and will surely leave you wanting more. Tokays are very much interesting that scientists are more than eager to uncover the secrets surrounding these amazing creations.
Territorial Behavior of Tokay Geckos
Tokay geckos are known to be naturally aggressive and they can go extremely aggressive when threatened by humans (you) and other animals or during the mating season. As the pet owner, part of your responsibility is to know the behaviors of your Tokays to avoid unnecessary injuries they may sustain from a brawl or scuffle against their cage mates.
Tokay Geckos are very fascinating creatures. Aside from their various interesting colors that changes its hue depending on their environment and the time of the day, what’s more interesting is their feet. Do you ever wonder how this creature could cling and ran quickly on walls and even on ceilings? Interesting right?
Most people think that Tokay geckos move or cling on walls and ceilings through little suctions on their feet like octopus. That is a wrong perception. Tokay Geckos like lizards cling on vertical surfaces and ceilings by using the microscopic hairs on their feet. They have millions of these tiny hairs that clutch on different types of surfaces. Each of these tiny hairs further branches out into smaller ones making the grip stronger even on smooth surfaces.
What's amazing about their feet?
Studies have further been conducted to support the said facts. Researchers have found out that the microscopic hairs found on a Tokay Gecko’s feet measures roughly about 100 millionths meters long or equivalent to twice the diameter of a human hair. Each hair called seta (pl. setae) further branches out into 1000 smaller tips that measures approximately 200 billionths meter, even much smaller than the wavelength of visible light.
Furthermore, researchers found out that the strength of a single strand of seta can lift the weight of a 25mg ant. Therefore, if you have a million of this seta, it can even support the weight of a child weighing 45lbs or approximately 20kgs. The maximum force of all the tiny hairs found in a Tokay Gecko’s feet is a thousand times more that what is required for them to be able to cling on walls or ceilings. Technically, the almost 2,000,000 setae on the four feet of geckos can produce force equivalent to 400 Newton or roughly 90 lbs of force whereas the weight of a normal Tokay Gecko only ranges from 50 to 150 grams. That is why geckos can support their entire weight even with only one finger.
No matter how strong their feet’s grip could be, there are instances wherein their capability to cling on certain surfaces are reduced. Tokay Geckos cling best on rough and dry surfaces. Rough texture makes it easier for the tiny hairs to cling harder on the surface. However, geckos are also capable of clinging on smooth surfaces provided that it is not wet or covered with water.
The toe pads of a gecko are super hydrophobic which means that water easily rolls off the toes quickly, keeping it dry as much as possible. How? It is through the air bubbles that build up between the microscopic setae on the feet creating water beads that easily fall off the hairs. Although the hairs found on a gecko’s feet are capable of repelling water quickly, it can only tolerate a certain amount of wetness. It can only tolerate surfaces covered with water less that 0.5 cm deep. More than that, Geckos lose their grip on the surface.
Amazing isn’t it? These findings led to the development of gecko tapes and other tools that uses synthetic setae which can aid humans in various useful ways.