Geckos Eating Cheerios: The Untold Scientific Story
This is a very cute video of two geckos licking cheerios. That’s well and good, nothing special for a viral video, but it raises an important question: why would the gecko keep licking the cereal? Can it even taste the sweetness? A group of scientists in 2011 published their results in their study with the goal of discovering which taste and smell receptors are present in which animals. If you go to the related database, you can search for exactly what animals have exactly which receptors. Doing so for lizards, you find that the anoli, a lizard relative of the gecko, does indeed have a functioning gene for the sweet taste receptor T1R2. Therefore, the geckos in the video can likely taste the sugar, and aren’t just making repetitive licking motions.