In one of the experiments detailed in the most recent issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers, led by Robert Full, placed geckos on three slippery vertical surfaces, then recorded them with a high-speed camera to see how they used their tails when they slipped. To study the lizards in free fall, they placed them on the underside of a platform and again recorded the results. When the geckos fell, they used their tails to turn themselves around in mid-air (see the diagram left) and land on their feet. And they did it quickly: It took roughly one-tenth of a second to complete the turn. Besides its implications for the design of wall-climbing robots, the research further proves that Spiderman really should re-brand himself as a gecko.