Clinging tightly

Clingfish (Gobiesox maeandricus).  Image credit: Thomas Kleinteich Clingfish (Gobiesox maeandricus).
Image credit: Thomas Kleinteich

Live Science posted a story recently on the sticking power of clingfish. Northern clingfish, like the one shown in the image above, live in turbulent waters off the Pacific Coast of North America. In order to cling to surfaces, the animals have what are called adhesion discs on their bellies that they use to hold on tightly to various surfaces.

Biologist Adam Summers at the University of Washington has been studying how these fish cling to surfaces. His research team put a variety of sandpaper textures into a tank of water and placed either commercial suction cups or dead clingfish on the sandpaper (to remove any physiological actors leaving just the adhesion discs to study). They then measured the force needed to pull either the cups or the dead fish off the various surfaces. The dead animals clung better to all but the smooth surfaces better than suction cups. The trick, they discovered, were tiny hairs (microvilli) that induce friction and help the adhesion disc stick to rough surfaces.

Summers and colleagues are now trying to create commercial adhesive structures similar to the microvilli on clingfish. They believe this technology will be useful in the advancement of medicine, home and technology.

Source:

Live Science

Categories

More like this

Whoa, it's been a while since I've said anything about my infatuation with cephalopods (since, like, the last post…). Let's correct that with a nifty paper I found on octopus suckers. Here's a typical view of a tangle of octopus arms, all covered with circular suckers. The octopus can cling to…
A Madagascar sucker-footed bat (Myzopoda aurita). In the tropical forests of Madagascar, there lives a very peculiar kind of bat. While most bats roost by hanging upside-down from cave ceilings or tree branches, the Madagascar sucker-footed bat (Myzopoda aurita) holds itself head-up thanks to a set…
Image from: ReptileChannel.com Celebrate Reptile Awareness Day on October 21st! The ReptileChannel.com has listed 10 ways to celebrate the day on their website that you can view here. According to daysoftheyear.com, this special day is dedicated to promoting awareness of reptiles and the…
What was that odd squishy-hairy thing in yesterday's SEM? It's the tip of the foot of a muscid fly, showing the adhesive pads (called pulvilli) that allow the fly to cling to surfaces. Here's a slightly less magnified view: Points are awarded as follows: -Two for JasonC., for being the first to…