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These geckos crash-land on rainforest trees but don’t fall, thanks to their tails

Many arboreal lizards leap and glide from tree to tree, but what if they can’t glide to a gentle, four-point landing? Researchers documented many such leaps of the common house gecko, and found that they often hit trees headfirst and rebounded violently. Their recovery strategy — grab on with the back feet and leverage their tail to prevent falling. The team created a soft robot with reactive tail that could replicate this previously unknown fall-arresting behavior.

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