A new study published in the journal Biological Reviews shows that lizards have more variation with their tails than we think.
In addition to being famous for the ability to give up the tail to run when threatened, sometimes they also grow more tails, some individuals are found to have up to six tails. After summing up the historical records of the multi-tailed lizard, the researchers found that this abnormal recovery occurred in many species and they hypothesized that the multi-tailed lizard had to pay a The price is very expensive for that.
“Caudal autotomy” is a term used to refer to the “esper power” that detaches a part of the tail to help the lizard escape from a predator’s attack.
This missing tail is later replaced by cartilage bars, but sometimes they are duplicated and the lizard may have two double tails of equal length, where there was once only one. The mixing can become even more unusual when the tail base “grows” with multiple branches, a case recorded in 2015 showed Salvator merianae of Argentina, which grew to six small tails. after the original tail is detached.
In total, researchers looked at 425 sightings of lizards growing in multiple tails, from 63 countries and found that regeneration of multiple tails was not really rare or unusual, they predicted that 3 percent of lizards were. Around the world there can be many tails.
The researchers explained that this number is surprisingly high and raises the question: Does this affect the daily life of a lizard? They predict that increased body mass could make future escape more difficult, as well as affect their ability to move.
“Separating the tail to get rid of the predator and then recovering sounds like a good tactic; however, when this rebound is skewed and leads to abnormal tail growth, this is likely to affect lizards. ”, said Bill Bateman, co-author of the study from Curtin University. “For example, does having two tails affect their ability to find mates and thereby reduce their chances of reproduction? Or conversely, could it be beneficial? ”
“Experimental behavior of these hypotheses will be an interesting and important research direction in the future, so biologists can learn more about the lifestyle of these multi-tailed lizards.”