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image depicting Alligators can regrow their tails too, like lizards

Alligators can regrow their tails too, like lizards

Recommended for Middle Grades

Alligators can regrow their tails

Did you know that some reptiles, like lizards, can regrow their tails? Lizards can leave behind their tails to escape an enemy. The tail will regrow, but it will be more simple and not like the original.

A team of scientists in the US has found that, like lizards, even young alligators have the ability to regrow their tails. They can grow them up to three-quarters of a foot. This is about 18% of their total body length.

They think that the ability to regrow their tails gives the alligators an advantage in their murky (cloudy water) habitats.

Alligators, lizards and humans all belong to a group of animals with backbones called amniotes. However, humans cannot regrow limbs despite having the same cells and pathways being used to regenerate in these other animals.

So, understanding how reptiles regrow their body parts may help scientists in developing similar technologies for humans.


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