Lizard Tails May Grow Back, but They’re Not the Same

Videos Highlighting The Latest Search Trends.
Oct. 10 2012 4:15 PM

Lizard Tails May Grow Back, but They’re Not the Same Appendage

A green gecko

Photo by ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images.

It's never quite the same after that first one, is it?

Researchers have found that the regenerated tail of a lizard is dramatically different from its original equipment. Some lizards, like the green anole lizard observed in the study, can lose their tails to escape capture by a predator. The tail that grows back, however, is composed of a rod made of cartilage and long muscle fibers that stretch the length of the regrown appendage, not the original design of small bones and short muscles. The teams' findings also suggest nerves from the original tail's stump grow back into the new tail. Although it doesn't have the function of the original, Tail 2.0 is nonetheless the result of genetic skills humans would like to learn more about—especially if scientists could one day be able to use them to treat spinal cord injuries and diseases like arthritis.


So it looks as if this may not be the end of tail.

Videos curated by Slate staff.


Frame Game

Hard Knocks

I was hit by a teacher in an East Texas public school. It taught me nothing.

Chief Justice John Roberts Says $1,000 Can’t Buy Influence in Congress. Looks Like He’s Wrong.

After This Merger, One Company Could Control One-Third of the Planet's Beer Sales

Hidden Messages in Corporate Logos

If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter

Sports Nut

Giving Up on Goodell

How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.

How Can We Investigate Potential Dangers of Fracking Without Being Alarmist?

My Year as an Abortion Doula       

  News & Politics
Sept. 16 2014 9:22 AM The Most Populist Campaign of 2014
Sept. 15 2014 7:27 PM Could IUDs Be the Next Great Weapon in the Battle Against Poverty?
Atlas Obscura
Sept. 16 2014 8:00 AM The Wall Street Bombing: Low-Tech Terrorism in Prohibition-era New York
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 15 2014 11:38 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 4  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Listen."
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 9:13 AM Clive James, Terminally Ill, Has Written an Exquisitely Resigned Farewell Poem
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 7:36 AM The Inspiration Drought Why our science fiction needs new dreams.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 16 2014 7:30 AM A Galaxy of Tatooines
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.