Geckos: Adaptive Significance and Energetics of Tail Autotomy

Science  28 Jun 1974:
Vol. 184, Issue 4144, pp. 1379-1380
DOI: 10.1126/science.184.4144.1379


Coleonyx variegatus is adapted to readily sacrifice its tail to predators. This adaptation is associated with characteristic tail behavior and rapid tail regeneration. There is no facultative metabolic increase associated with tail regeneration, and energy normally allocated to body growth and maintenance is diverted to tail regeneration. This supports the contention that tail behavior, autotomy, and rapid regeneration evolved as mechanisms promoting survival in terms of predator escape.