Mr. Gecko: Little Lizard, Big Mystery

I’m just a harmless little lizard, between one and six inches long. You surely don’t think I have much to boast about. We are a colorful lot, some of us gray, some green, some orange. But that doesn’t surprise you. I’m talking to you today not to boast about myself but about my Creator. You see, I want to tell you about some very special abilities my very wonderful Creator has given me so that you can give glory to Him also!

I can’t fly, and I’m not much good at jumping. But one thing I can do is run! It doesn’t matter if the surface is flat or vertical, or rough or smooth. I can scurry up a wall, or across a ceiling in a flick—without suction, or glue, or friction, or any Velcro-like material on the surface.

I’ve had the scientists really puzzled for a long time. Only recently have they been able to figure out a few of my unusual abilities.

You see, my Creator made me with some very singular designs. One of these is my feet.

Like many lizards in my family, I have four legs. Each leg extends into a foot, and each foot has five toes, just as you have. But—and here I must again mention my wonderful Creator—my toes are no ordinary creation. Each toe has many tiny hairs attached to it—on my 20 toes I probably have a total of more than two million toe hairs (nobody has counted them exactly!). These toe hairs are so tiny that the scientists can see them only when they magnify them more than 30,000 times!

And they aren’t plain, simple hairs either. Each hair is tipped with thousands of tiny pads, each measuring some ten millionths of an inch across. These pads act like tiny suction cups, so powerful that I can actually hang from the ceiling by a single toe!

I feel like shouting “Marvelous!” But the scientists are even more perplexed because I not only know how to make my hairy toes stick but I can also make them release. Instantly. Otherwise-well, I’d still be hanging by my toe up there on the ceiling.

Just how do I pry my toes loose fast enough to keep running? That is a secret between my Creator and me, and I think we’ll keep it that way for now. You just need to praise Him for His wonderful designs!

“When a gecko runs, he has to attach and detach himself 15 times a second,” says one researcher. That surprises you? It’s very ordinary to me, because that is the way my Creator designed me to do it!

But do you know, I heard a very strange comment recently. It sounded something like this: “The gecko has developed an amazing way of walking…” Did you ever hear the equal of that? They make it sound like I did it! Or that my ancestors had something to do with my design. Well, you and I know better! This is the way my Creator made me. My Creator gets ALL the credit.

Yes, ALL of it, because He designed me! All glory to my Creator, “who does great things, and unsearchable, marvelous things without number” (Job 5:9). He made me!

Sources of Information: For the information in this article we are indebted to the National Wildlife Magazine, October, 2000, page 8; also Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th Edition, Vol. 5, p. 160.