Gecko Facts


  • Millions of microscopic hairs on their toes are what help some geckos run up walls, windows and even defy gravity by walking upside down on ceilings. A remarkable picture of these tiny hairs as well as more scientific information can be found at the links on the bottom of this page. Scientists want to turn geckos amazing sticking powers into new materials for us. They may some day invent gecko-like shoes and gloves that will let people climb buildings like Spiderman! 

  • Female geckos can lay two softshell eggs every six weeks. It takes about 45-60 days for a gecko to hatch from its egg and a year to be fully grown.

  • Geckos are small lizards. Most grow to be only 4-6 inches long. Their tail is one half of their length. Their legs stick out of their sides, which keeps their bellies close to the ground.
  • There are over 800 different kinds of geckos. They live on every continent except Antartica where it is too cold for them. Geckos are cold-blooded which means they need the suns rays to warm them. Their tiny scales protect them from the sun.

  • Most geckos are nocturnal. The lizards you see near porch lights are probably Mediterranean geckos stalking bugs that are attracted to the light.

  • The geckos in Counting Little Geckos are based on Western Banded Geckos which have dark bands on a pale yellow/beige background. They lack toe pads, so are not good climbers. They are one of the few geckos that have eyelids. The Tucson Herpetological Society website has excellent close up photos of different types of geckos.  Reptiles of Arizona also has pictures and information on the Western Banded Gecko.

  • Geckos are carnivores. They eat small insects. After a gecko eats, it cleans its mouth with its tongue. Geckos even clean their eyes with their tongue!

  • Some geckos make a clicking noise that sounds like they're saying "geck-o." That's how they got their name. Geckos also make a tiny squeaking sound, stand tall, wave their tails over their backs and push up and down when frightened.

  • Lizards use their tails to help balance and to store fat and water. They can live on that fat as long as 9 months, without eating. If their tail is grabbed by a predator or snagged on something, lizards twist their tail muscles so it falls off. They're able to do this because their tail bones have small cracks that allow it to break easily. Nerves and muscles in the shed tail, keep it twitching to divert the predator so the lizard can escape. When a lizard looses its tail, it grows a new tail. The new tail is sometimes a different color, shorter and/or stiffer than the original tail.

    Fun Fact: Geckos are considered to be good luck in Hawaii.

    Gecko feet links:
    view.php3?language=english&type=&article_id=218391131 and 

© 2004-2007 Charline Profiri All rights reserved.
No part of this website may be reproduced without the express permission of the owner.
Counting Little Geckos illustrations (c) 2004 Sherry Rogers.

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