The study shows why geckos are the largest animals able to scale smooth vertical walls - even larger climbers would require unmanageably large sticky footpads.
In climbing animals from mites and spiders up to tree frogs and geckos, the percentage of body surface covered by adhesive footpads increases as body size increases, setting a limit to the size of animal that can use this strategy because larger animals would require impossibly big feet.
Humans would need about 40 percent of total body surface, or roughly 80 percent of front, to be covered in sticky footpads if we wanted to do a convincing Spiderman impression.
Larger animals have evolved alternative strategies to help them climb, such as claws and toes to grip with, researchers said.
They compared the weight and foot pad size of 225 climbing animal species including insects, frogs, spiders, lizards and even a mammal.
The study was published in the journal PNAS.


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