Did you know that some lizards can make their tails fall off when attacked by predators? Not only do the tails of the lizards fall off, but they can also grow back. This seems like a pretty cool feature, but why?
Tails on animals can be a pretty awesome and handy thing to have. They can serve many purposes, from providing balance, to an extra hand for grasping things. In short they are extremely handy to have. But as any parent of a young child would know, they also provide a handy and effective toy for young children. While a small child may find glee in the animals discomfort, clearly it causes the animal pain. Not only does it cause the animal pain, but it also traps them, making escape practically impossible. But some lizards have this problem sorted.
When a lizard is attacked on the tail it can be just as deadly for them as if they were attacked on any other limb. Be it from a predator grabbing or biting it, the outcome is certain death unless they do something drastic without haste. The solution for some lizards is to just make their tail fall off. This they can do on command. But even though the tail eventually grows back, it does have some draw backs.
As you could imagine, just as with being grabbed by the tail, purposely amputating the appendage would cause pain and discomfort. Also, even though the life of the lizard may be saved, dramatically removing a tail to save their own life has some serious and long-term health effects. Sure, their may still be alive, but this self inflicted amputation stunts growth and hampers mobility, placing them at an increased risk of future harm.
It must be noted however, that not all lizards can make their tail fall off. It’s a skill that must be learned and not all breeds have this ability. One final note. Please don’t experiment on lizards that you find. It would be just plain cruel.