Geckos (Gekkonidae) are a group of lizards
that include about 930 species. Among the more common species of geckos are the tokay gecko, crested gecko, gargoyle gecko, dwarf gecko, leopard gecko, mediterranean gecko, western banded gecko, and the New Caledonian gecko.
Many geckos are agile climbers with uniquely evolved toe-pads that enable them to climb a variety of surfaces with ease. In fact, geckos' feet are among their most distinctive characteristics—nearly every species of gecko has specially adapted feet that are tailored to their particular lifestyle and locomotion. For example, geckos that climb have flattened, disc-shaped toe-pads. Each toe-pad consists of numerous scales that are fringed with thousands of minute hairs called setae. The setae split into smaller hairs and these interact with surfaces to form weak molecular bonds that enable geckos to adhere to slick surfaces with ease.
Geckos are also notable for the vocalizations they produce. Their calls enable them to declare their territory and to attract mates, especially since these small lizards are most active during the nighttime when sound provides an optimal means of communication.
Most geckos are petite, slender-bodied lizards that have a broad, flat head. Many geckos are tree-dwelling creatures but some species inhabit rocky or arid habitats.
Most geckos are nocturnal hunters that feed on insects, spiders and other small invertebrates. The tokay gecko is a large species whose diet includes heftier prey such as small lizards, birds and mammals. Day geckos feed on insects but also bolster their diet with pollen, fruit and flower nectar. Geckos locate on their food using a combination of sight and smell.
Geckos are lizards
, a group of reptiles that (in addition to geckos) includes iguanas, chisel-teeth lizards, chameleons, night lizards, blind lizards, skinks, anguids, beaded lizards and many others. There are 88 subgroups (genera) of geckos that include species such as the banded gecko, leopard gecko, tokay gecko and the frilled leaf-tail gecko
The fossil record for squamates, including geckos and other lizards
, is relatively poor. Geckos are thought to have evolved during the early Cretaceous. The oldest know gecko in the fossil record is Hoburogekko.