THE agama jumps from a horizontal surface onto a vertical wall with ease. But if that surface is slippery, the lizard loses its footing, yet it still makes a successful landing on the wall. How? The secret is in the lizard’s tail.
Consider: When agamas jump from a coarse surface
The agama’s tail may help engineers design more-agile robotic vehicles that can be used to search for survivors in the aftermath of an earthquake or other catastrophe. “Robots are not nearly as agile as animals,” says researcher Thomas Libby, “so anything that can make a robot more stable is an advancement.”