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Watch: For some lizards, escape is a matter of detachment
For some lizards, getting out of harm’s way is as easy as detaching their tails. But that comes at a cost. Tails do come in handy, after all. How do lizards keep their tails when they need them and detach them when they have to? In a recent study, researchers used a scanning electron microscope and high-speed video to understand how lizards release their tales. They found that a nuance in how they bend their tails makes all the difference. Bend them straight back and the tails stay put. Bend them at a side angle and off they go. The researchers tried it themselves with silicone models.
Read the study in Science, and watch the video below.