Auto-Whaty?!

Heeeyyyyy Herpers!

Now we all love our cute cuddly critters, but Why Oh, Why do they have such wEiRd little quirks?  Like what you may ask?  Take for instance, a reptiles ability to be autotomic? Auto-whaty? .... Let me explain. =D

Autotomy, not Autonomy, is the act whereby an animal severs one or more of its own appendages by self amputation.  This is commonly used as a self defense mechanisim to escape a predators deadly grasp!  Coooool...or Grooooooss?!?  TOTALLY GROSS!!!  No need to fear however, most reptiles can REGROW the lost limb!!!  Coooool ..... or Grooooossss?!? C'Mon...thats EASY... TOTALLY COOL!!!  ^O^  Now that we know what they do and why....  what about WHO does what?  Let's check it out!

REPTILES:

Geckos, Skinks and other lizards that are captured by the tail will shed part of the tail structure and then be free to escape!  The detached tail will continue to wriggle, creating a distracting sense of continued struggle and turning the predator's attention from the escaping prey animal.The animal can partially grow back its lost limb within a couple weeks.  However, there are some exceptions like the rested Gecko, who cannot regrow a lost tail. =(

Autotomic Lizard:

Tailess (Frog-Butt) Crested Gecko <3:

INVERTEBRATES: (Spiders)

Spiders that find themselves trapped, or in life-threatening situations can autotomize, "self-amputate" their legs. They DO have like what....8 to spare??  The missing limb(s) can regenerate over the course of several moults, and the spider will resume 'full functionality' in those limbs over time.

This Spider has lost 2 legs...

Feel a bit better now?  Good!  Hopefully this will help us all rethink how we choose to handle our delicate friends and keep them all in ONE piece! ^O^ !

Happy Herping!!!

^O^......Priscilla

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