Do Leopard Geckos Drop Their Tails?
Leopard geckos are a popular pet lizard which come in a variety of different color morphs. One of the most commonly asked questions about the leopard gecko is “do they drop their tails”?
Like other lizards, leopard geckos have the ability to shed their tails, known as autotomy, as a defense mechanism. In the wild, if a predator attacks them, they can voluntarily detach their tails to distract the predator while they escape.
How Does Autotomy Work?
Leopard geckos (like other lizards) have a special device known as a “fracture plane” between the tail muscles and the vertebra. When a predator grabs the gecko’s tail, the muscles will contract, causing a break at the fracture plane. This allows the gecko to detach its tail from its body.
Do Leopard Geckos Drop Their Tails In Captivity?
While the instinct and ability to shed the tail is present in the leopard gecko, it is far less common for them to do so in captivity. This is because the animal will usually only use this ability in circumstances of extreme stress or danger. Therefore, if a leopard gecko does drop its tail while in captivity, it is likely that your pet gecko is in a situation of panic or fear.
After the tail has been dropped, it will grow back. A regrown tail may be shorter and thicker than the original, and it will be missing any special features such as the stripes and spots found on the original tail. The regrowth process can take several months, so be sure to take good care of your gecko while it regrows its tail.
In summary, leopard geckos do have the ability to drop their tails in order to escape a predator, however this is far less common in captivity. If your pet leopard gecko does drop its tail, make sure to take proper care of your gecko as it regrows its tail.
- Leopard geckos have the ability to drop their tails, known as autotomy, as a defense mechanism.
- In captivity, it is far less common for leopard geckos to drop their tails.
- If a gecko does drop its tail, it will regrow, though it may be shorter and thicker than the original.