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wondering the mechanism of how a grappling hook would be able grip onto most surfaces without missing the hit or sliding off.

in video games grappling hooks are ropes or chains which when thrown onto anything they always 100% grip it strongly and are able to hold the weight of the person either for climbing walls, mountains and trees or for pulling enemies one onto the other and smashing them.

The part of hooking correctly 100% of the time seems kind of improbable, specially onto flat surfaces.

that's why the idea of an animal, robust one which can be trained came to mind.

so the question raises, is it realistic to make an animal which can bite through rock and hold the grip with their jaws realistic?

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    $\begingroup$ Are you throwing the animal? If so, it could look really funny but maybe possible. Although for a more realistic take, I'd expect you to train an animal to scale a wall with a rope. I suppose if you have that, it's not a big stretch to also teach the animal how to secure the rope somewhere. $\endgroup$ – VLAZ Jul 30 '20 at 9:20
  • $\begingroup$ @VLAZ I was thinking more of tarzan/spiferman effect swinging from side to side by throwing the grappling hook, but your idea sounds good too! $\endgroup$ – user77496 Jul 30 '20 at 9:27
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    $\begingroup$ Chameleon's tongue, so maybe we can tie it to the end of a whip and hopefully by end of the training it can achieve 100% accuracy ;D $\endgroup$ – user6760 Jul 30 '20 at 14:01
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    $\begingroup$ sticky hand snake with gecko paw it can also work like whip for self defense, and kinda easier to carry around or disguise as. $\endgroup$ – Li Jun Jul 30 '20 at 16:45
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    $\begingroup$ My first impression is a squid/octopus at the end of a rope. They are smart, strong and have suckers. $\endgroup$ – Simppa Jul 30 '20 at 19:47
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is it realistic to make an animal which can bite through rock and hold the grip with their jaws realistic?

Biting through any rock is highly unrealistic. Granite is a well known problematic rock to be pierced, even for machinery with no biological limitations.

If you really want something that grips on almost any material, you are better off going in the direction of the gecko feet:

gecko foot structure at different scales

The feet of geckos have a number of specializations. Their surfaces can adhere to any type of material with the exception of Teflon (PTFE).

The interactions between the gecko's feet and the climbing surface are stronger than simple surface area effects. On its feet, the gecko has many microscopic hairs, or setae (singular seta), that increase the Van der Waals forces - the distance-dependent attraction between atoms or molecules - between its feet and the surface. These setae are fibrous structural proteins that protrude from the epidermis, which is made of β-keratin, the basic building block of human skin.

Added bonus: you can reuse the same gripping tool when you move around, while something stuck in rock is going to be hard to take out.

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    $\begingroup$ sounds like a good idea. I once saw a Gecko running in a room mit a top made of glass - it ran up the wall and also ran upside down under the glass ceiling. $\endgroup$ – Julian Egner Jul 30 '20 at 13:06
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    $\begingroup$ There are some other questions that arise from this answer. What surface area would you need to carry the slinging weight of a human being? What else is the creature made off, is it a type of snail that can modify its body to fit the surface better and can that carry the weight? How heavy would that body make it and would it still be practical? $\endgroup$ – Demigan Jul 30 '20 at 13:53
  • $\begingroup$ How do gekos unlatch? $\endgroup$ – Mad Physicist Jul 30 '20 at 18:24
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    $\begingroup$ @MadPhysicist The setae's adhesiveness is dependent on the angle between the setae and the surface, so geckos can peel their toes up and naturally lose adhesion. See scientificamerican.com/article/how-do-gecko-lizards-unst. $\endgroup$ – Nuclear Hoagie Jul 30 '20 at 20:10
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    $\begingroup$ We have technology that mimicks gecko feet enough to hold people already so it's potentially feasible. $\endgroup$ – Sean Duggan Jul 30 '20 at 22:21
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While the bite-through-the-rock part might be a bit implausible, I find the premise completely plausible. Dune had chairdogs. We use service animals today to assist the blind. Navies have used marine mammals for various purposes (like dolphins for mine detection).

Frankly, I could easily believe such a creature being a beloved companion - perhaps a primate that could simply climb to where you want it to go and hold on tight. In fact, given that all the creature needs is a harness to which your rope is tied, and maybe add a little psychic connection so the primate knows exactly where to stop climbing... the basics of this idea are completely believable.

It'd need to be a strong little honker, of course, given that you weigh more than it does. But I don't think that compromises the idea at all. In fact, I'm a bit surprised someone hasn't tried to train a primate to do this in real life.

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  • $\begingroup$ but it wont work well in smooth flat surface with no grip surface or to wide unless they have gecko palm, though theres kinda exist monkey train to climbing, but its to pick fruit rather than carry the person to the top though. but i can see ape climb up to the top and then pulling the rope attached to the person like an elevator though, like rescue technique done by rangers or so, still kinda risky too much depending on such animals, since if they suddenly remove their grip or swing the rope violently it can cost your life. $\endgroup$ – Li Jun Jul 30 '20 at 17:07
  • $\begingroup$ @LiJun :-) You want perfect? A creature that could easily grapple a smooth, flat surface would have trouble grappling to tree bark or soil. There won't be a perfect solution for all applications - which means our intrepid adventurer needs a small zoo. (And if you think about it, most of your issues apply equally to all biological solutions. There's a reason grappling hooks are made out of metal.) $\endgroup$ – JBH Jul 30 '20 at 17:36
  • $\begingroup$ but isnt thats what OP want though? regarding cant grappling tree bark or soil, gecko palm can do it though, as L.Dutch already mention, its not the piercing or really considered as grasping like grappling hook do but....(yeah, you are right. though it was originally mean for my own interpretation using the elevator pulling technique) $\endgroup$ – Li Jun Jul 31 '20 at 4:36
  • $\begingroup$ @LiJun If the OP thinks this answer is out of bounds, he/she will let me know. $\endgroup$ – JBH Jul 31 '20 at 4:45
  • $\begingroup$ dont get me wrong though, im not comment to downgrade or demand perfect answer to anyone answer like some user here do, just simply want to share what i know. $\endgroup$ – Li Jun Jul 31 '20 at 5:01
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Why Jaws when you can just Stick it?

Sure, a lizard of some sort would be cool, but various wall materials could break teeth and cause all kinds of other problems. What if your critter happens to hit the wall backed by a steel I beam or something? Anything with the bite strength to manage something like that, or granite, or marble, is going to be to big and heavy to stealthily deploy.

So dial it back down the evolution tree and take another branch and go with an invertebrate instead.

You could take a cue from maybe banana slugs or maybe even a limpet. Limpet teeth are stronger than spider silk According to this link.

So give your mad scientist a new lab coat, and tell him to get to work on a grappler with a big limpet on the end. Maybe some sort of spider/limpet hybrid to get the benefit of spider silk in the bargain.

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How about air breathing octopi? Certainly intelligent enough to be trained, although they strike me as too intelligent to want to do a task like this a lot. The suckers and flexible arms give them lots of gripping power.

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    $\begingroup$ That was my first "go-to" animal. So, train them that they get rewards for grappling; they'll do what you want quick enough. $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Jul 31 '20 at 13:22
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Giant Squirrels!

Normal squirrels are mammals, intelligent and trainable. No need to bite through rock. Train them to carry a thin cord, loop it and bring it back down. Attach a rope and haul it up.

Alternatively breed giant squirrels! They would be excellent climbers and, with tungsten tooth caps could even chew through rock.

You doubt their ability to climb castle walls? See this video https://youtu.be/H3TAt5javHs

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Your best bet would be monitor lizards. They are strong enough to hold the weight of many men and have a good lizard-like grip, even on relatively smooth rock surfaces. Here is a link that refers to a legend on how generals used these lizards to scale fort walls. I am not sure if these legends have been verified till date. Monitor lizards are kept as pets, and there's even evidence that they can be trained to a certain extent.

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