According to reports, tree frogs have specially adapted self-cleaning feet, which scientists say could help in practical applications for the medical industry and designing self-cleaning surfaces. The sticky pads on the toes of tree frogs allow them to cling to a variety of surfaces, but until recently, scientists were unsure how the frogs prevented these pads from also picking up dirt.

According to Researcher Niall Crawford at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, the same factors that allow tree frogs to cling on surfaces also provide a self-cleaning surface. The mucus that frogs secrete to make their feet sticky, added with the movement against the surfaces creates friction, allowing the frog to remain in place. That mucus, combined with the movement, also allows the frogs to clean their feet as they walk.

Scientists believe that further review of these findings could present a wide range of useful products, especially in contaminating environments.

The study was recently presented at the Society for Experimental Biology Annual Conference in Glasgow, Scotland.