Lost Lizard Tail?

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Iggy1
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Lost Lizard Tail?

Post by Iggy1 » Mon Jul 13, 2009 10:52 pm

Does anyone know when a lizard loses it's tail and regrows a new one, why it grows back a different color? I've noticed this with many different kinds of lizards.
TIA

Jerry Feldner
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Re: Lost Lizard Tail?

Post by Jerry Feldner » Fri Jul 17, 2009 1:23 pm

Good question but not necessarily true in all cases. Many lizards grow replacement tails which are essentially the same color. However, there will be no bone in the new tail. Instead, cartilage takes the place of bone and the fracture planes, the places in the tail where the lizard can "shed" the tail, are no longer there. The fracture planes will be above (bodyward) the replacement tail. There are many lizards which do not lose their tails with the option of regrowing them. Once they are gone, they are gone for good. Some local lizards which do not regrow the tail are Chuckwallas and Collared and Leopard Lizards.
There is a curious behavioral thing about Chucks with short tails. A Male Chuck with a full tail is called a "tyrant male." Those are the ones that have first call on the females and which father most baby Chucks. Once a male Chuck loses even an inch of tail to a bird of prey, a fox or coyote or falling rocks, he has almost no chance of becoming a father. Females will reject him and tyrant males will drive him away.

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Iggy1
Posts: 185
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Location: Yuma, AZ
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Re: Lost Lizard Tail?

Post by Iggy1 » Fri Jul 17, 2009 1:54 pm

Thanks so much Jerry. I've read about the bone & cartilage somewhere in doing my search. Some very interesting facts you posted that I wasn't aware of. Thanks Again!

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