What characteristics do animals have that can be regenerated? This is a question that humanity has sought to unveil to appropriate the power to heal itself. Currently, these living beings inspire hundreds of new questions and a handful of answers.
What animals have the ability to regenerate?
It is important to note that all living things have some capacity to regenerate, from bacteria to humans. That said, we should note that Regeneration can be complete if the new tissue completely replaces the lost tissue. On the other hand, the regeneration is incomplete if after suffering an injury, the necrotic tissue arrives fibrosis or scarring.
In this sense, humans cannot regenerate their body to restore entire parts. But, other creatures can regrow their limbs, tails, or even their brains! Sometimes, animals can detach a part of their body on purpose because they feel threatened. The lost body part can grow back later, this process is called: autotomy.
The axolotl: the best studied of animals that can regenerate
The axolotl is a Mexican species of the salamander family. The axolotl has the appearance of a giant tadpole with legs and tail. This completely aquatic species has its habitat in lakes or shallow water channels with a lot of aquatic vegetation.
It should be noted that this amphibian is the only vertebrate capable of regenerating amputated limbs, damaged organs and tissues. Thus, you can regenerate, repair or replace, in a matter of weeks, your arms, legs, tail, lower jaw, brain and heart!
Even more fascinating, the researchers say, is the ability of the axolotl to repair its spinal cord when it suffers an injury and get it to function as if it had not been damaged. Too, This creature can repair other tissues – like the retinal – and heal wounds, without leaving scars.
Because of this incredible ability, scientists are very interested in studying how axolotl is capable of doing this and maybe one day they will use what they have learned to help people!
The case of lizards
Many species of lizards, such as the green iguana and the bearded dragon, can drop or drop their tail in a dangerous situation.
It is surprising to know that the tail, already detached, continues to move and twist. This strategy is very successful to confuse the predator while the lizard escapes. It may take a couple of months for the tail to grow again, depending on the species of lizard.
The planarians: regeneration queens
The planarians are small flat worms of free life. This species is one of the many species that make up the Turbelaria class, phylloplamints. Planarians are common in many parts of the world and live in freshwater and freshwater ponds and rivers.
It should be noted that the planarians exhibit an extraordinary ability to regenerate lost parts of the body. Thus, if we section a worm into two halves – be it cross-sectional or longitudinal – each will regenerate into two separate individuals.
Thus, it is surprising to know that a segment of a planaria cut in 279 pieces can be successfully regenerated in a new worm in one or two weeks. The mechanism involves the formation of regeneration centers from “stem cells”, which are found circulating in the body of the worm.
Other animals that can regenerate
We know that spiders can grow a spare leg again. Spiders go through periods of molt until they reach adults. It is during this molt that a missing leg can grow back!
Too, Sharks continually replace missing teeth. A shark can have 24,000 teeth in its entire life. Also, the zebrafish can patch a badly damaged heart.
If sea sponges suffer mutilations, each piece can become a new sea sponge. Finally, sea stars can grow all of their limbs again if they lose one or more during an attack.