That's a great question! Not all lizard
species can re-grow their tails, but many can.
Lizards have evolved this trait as a way to defend
themselves against predators - when a bird or
other predator tries to grab the lizard, it will
disconnect its tail voluntarily (the lizard can
control this). Tail dropping includes the
separation of skin, muscles, blood supply, nerves,
and bone. The flapping tail will be left with the
predator while the lizard can escape. But, it is
energetically costly for lizards to have to regrow
their tails and the new tail is not
physiologically equivalent to their original tail
(the tail is generally not identical in length,
color, or pattern, and will contain a rod of
cartilage in it rather than bone). Lizard tails
are important to them for balance as well as a
defense mechanism, so if a lizard just dropped its
tail and could not regrow it, it would be more
difficult for it to escape predators in the future
and hunt its own prey.
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