An Incredible Tale of Six Tails

What is Argentinian, reptilian, and has six tails?  The lizard shown in the photo above! Lizards are well-known for their ability to regrow their tails after losing them while escaping from predators. In some cases, the tail is injured in such a way that regeneration is triggered and the reptile ends up with more than one tail. A lizard found in Argentina has set the record, however, by regenerating 6 tails!

An amazing article on the New Scientist website provides the details:

Many lizards can regenerate their tails after being injured or shedding them as a defence strategy to escape predators. In response to a threat, tails can be voluntarily detached at a specific fracture plane in vertebrae. Bleeding is quickly shut off, the tail stubs heal rapidly and regeneration begins.

In some cases, the tail breaks but doesn’t detach completely, leading to the regenerated tail having two or even three tips.

But “this is the first case of ‘hexafurcation’ ever reported”, says Nicolás Pelegrin of the National University of Córdoba in Argentina, who has reported the discovery, along with Suelem Muniz Leão of National Scientific and Technical Research Council in Buenos Aires.

You can find additional details about this unusual lizard in the great article on the New Scientist website.


Source: – “First known case of a lizard growing six new tails at once

Featured Photo Credit: Nicolás Pelegrin