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(gĕk`ō), small or medium-sized lizard of the family Gekkonidae. Some 1,500 species are distributed throughout the warm regions of the world, mostly in the Old World. Despite folklore to the contrary, their bite is not poisonous.

Many gecko species are arboreal, while others inhabit human dwellings. Most lack movable eyelids and have characteristic pads on the undersides of their feet that enable them to cling to smooth surfaces and to run upside down on ceilings. The pads contain microscopic backward-projecting hairs covered by tiny pads that may generate an adhesive force through van der Waals attractions (see intermolecular forcesintermolecular forces,
forces that are exerted by molecules on each other and that, in general, affect the macroscopic properties of the material of which the molecules are a part. Such forces may be either attractive or repulsive in nature.
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). Geckos are unique among lizards in that they possess voices, and different species make characteristic sounds. They feed on small animals, chiefly insects. Nearly all lay eggs.

The largest species is the 14-in. (35.5-cm) tokay, Gekko gecko, of SE Asia. The wall gecko, Tarentola mauritanica, of the Mediterranean region is commonly seen basking by day on walls and rocks; it hunts by night. The fish-scale gecko, Geckolepis megalepis, of N Madagascar has unusually large scales that readily tear away at the slightest touch and regrow in a few weeks. There are two native species in the United States, the leaf-fingered gecko, Phyllodactylus tuberculatus, of extreme S California and Baja California, and the banded, or ground, gecko, Coleonyx variegatus, of the deserts of the SW United States and N Mexico. The latter is a ground-dwelling form and lacks foot pads. In Florida there are several introduced West Indian species as well as the widely distributed Turkish gecko, Hemidactylus turcicus, originally from Africa.

Geckos are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Reptilia, order Squamata, family Gekkonidae.

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(vertebrate zoology)
The common name for more than 300 species of arboreal and nocturnal reptiles composing the family Gekkonidae.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


any small insectivorous terrestrial lizard of the family Gekkonidae, of warm regions. The digits have adhesive pads, which enable these animals to climb on smooth surfaces
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


An open source Web browser and toolkit from the Mozilla Foundation ( Mozilla serves as a reference platform for standards compliance and quality control. Mozilla-based products for Windows, Mac and Linux are the Mozilla and SeaMonkey suites (browser, email, newsgroups and HTML editor), Firefox browser and Thunderbird email client. The Camino browser is Mac only.

Over the years, Mozilla received contributions from around the world, and both Netscape and third parties have used the code for their own purposes. Version 1.0 of the Mozilla browser was released in 2002. Gecko is the name of the rendering engine that began its development at Netscape in 1997, but was released as open source. Gecko was formerly called Raptor and NGLayout (Next Gen Layout). See browser engine.

What's a Mozilla?
Mozilla was originally the code name for the Netscape Navigator Web browser and Netscape's first alligator-like mascot. Mozilla stood for "Mosaic Killer," because Netscape wanted to reign supreme, which it did for a while (see Mosaic).

In 1998, the source code of the entire Netscape Communicator package was made available to developers, and was created to act as a clearing house for contributions. In 2003, with the help of the Netscape division of AOL, it was turned into the Mozilla Foundation to provide support for open source projects. See Firefox, Netscape and Netscape Communicator.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The many varieties of geckoes emit remarkably different sounds from croaks to high-pitched, bird-like chirps or clicking sounds.
A couple of common geckoes are bynoe's (Heteronotia binoei) and the tree dtella (Gehyra variegata).