Natures wonders: new gecko sheds scales, escapes (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Thursday, February 09, 2017, 16:10 (1015 days ago) @ David Turell

A new type of lizard has scales! sheds them in escape:

"Geckolepis megalepis, a gecko from Madagascar, has a unique survival strategy. When under attack the lizard sheds it skin, leaving predators with a mouthful of scales as it runs away with its pink flesh exposed. Researchers described this new species in PeerJ on Tuesday (February 7).

"Tearaway skin is not the only thing that makes these creatures unique—they are also one of only a few species of gecko that have large, fish-like scales. "What's really remarkable though is that these scales—which are really dense and may even be bony, and must be quite energetically costly to produce—and the skin beneath them tear away with such ease, and can be regenerated quickly and without a scar," Mark Scherz, study co-author and a doctoral student at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, said in a statement.

"These skin-shedding creatures are not easy specimens to study. "Generally, what we do is lure the geckos into a container or plastic bag, so that we have the minimum possible contact with them," Scherz told Live Science. "It is possible to catch them by hand without losing scales, but it takes a lot of practice and is not always successful.'"

Comment: The bush of life gets weirder! How did this develop?

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