Can Geckos Regrow Their Tails?
Geckos are a type of lizard that can drop their tails as a defense mechanism when threatened by predators. As fascinating as this defense mechanism may seem, the question remains as to whether geckos can regrow their tails.
How Geckos Lose Their Tails
When in danger, geckos methodically break off their tails at predetermined breaks in their vertebrae. After some wriggling, the gecko can make a quick escape while its tail is still thrashing and distracting the predator.
Can Tails Be Regrown?
Yes, geckos are capable of regrowing their tails, even if they become completely separated from their body. However, this does not mean the regrown tails will look identical to the ones they lost. For most species of gecko, the regenerated tail is skinnier, lacks the intricate scales and patterns, and even has a different color from the original.
Regrowing a Tail Is a Long Process
Regrowing a tail is a long, slow process that generally takes months or even up to a year to be completed. During the regrowth, cells at the base of the tail called the “blastema” slowly form into new tissue and gradually divide into vertebrae, muscles and nerves. The resulting tail is very fragile and vulnerable for quite a while but eventually grows thicker and stronger.
In conclusion, geckos are capable of regrowing their tails, however, the regrown tails are generally skinnier, lack scale and color patterns, and can take months or up to a year to regrow.